Sofirn SP36, impressions of a sample

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djozz
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TexasToasted wrote:
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.


I totally agree that the SP36 does not look exciting. And that the ROT66 has that extra special look that the SP36 does not have.

Having the sample for a while it does feel like a light to use because of the size and the performance. And I really like that bit of throw that the ROT66 lacks. And the USB-C charging. And the price is ok too.

So I think that what the SP36 lacks in exciting looks has quite some compensation.

What I do still hope for is a nice neutral led option

HONDARIDER
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djozz wrote:
TexasToasted wrote:
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.


I totally agree that the SP36 does not look exciting. And that the ROT66 has that extra special look that the SP36 does not have.

Having the sample for a while it does feel like a light to use because of the size and the performance. And I really like that bit of throw that the ROT66 lacks. And the USB-C charging. And the price is ok too.

So I think that what the SP36 lacks in exciting looks has quite some compensation.

What I do still hope for is a nice neutral led option

Maybe you could concider it a sleeper. Like a dull bland Chevy Malibu with an LS 427. Not pretty to look at but performs better than the average car.

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TexasToasted wrote:
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.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have often heard that the ROT66 looks ugly, while the classic tube-like designs look timeless and elegant. It really depends on personal taste. As for my taste though, the one I think looks nicest in that picture is the D4S.

Regardless, I think the Q8 does look a little nicer than the SP36 in some ways. The steel bezel is a nice touch, the fins are more consistent, the logo lines up more accurately, and it is less prone to rolling.

About the shallow fins on the SP36, I did not find those to be an issue while doing thermal tests. It seems to handle heat just fine. It actually performs well above my expectations, both in terms of heat management and throwiness. By eye, it appears to throw about as well as a Q8, and it took a full 20 minutes to reach the bottom of its thermal regulation curve.

Typically on FET-driven lights, the output makes a S-shaped curve as the cell drains. Steady temperature, S-shaped brightness. I didn’t get to complete the test because my sensor’s battery died, but it was definitely making the expected S shape, and appeared to stop right at the point where it should turn downward for the last time. The output during the entire test was higher than I expected for a light its size.

Anyway, the SP36 charger works really well on mine, and it provides the unique benefit of charging three cells in parallel. I normally use only a 2-bay charger, so it’s a pain to recharge 3-cell lights. But now I have a way to charge those without breaking the set and taking two sessions. More importantly, I can do a partial charge and still keep the cells synchronized. Even if I didn’t use it as a flashlight, I think I’ll probably still use it as a charger.

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I hope someone can compare the heat of SP36 and Q8 in different modes within 30 minutes. It is interesting to know how practicality suffered from compactness.

Sorry for my poor english.

djozz
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Di_Joker wrote:
I hope someone can compare the heat of SP36 and Q8 in different modes within 30 minutes. It is interesting to know how practicality suffered from compactness.

Both ToyKeeper and I were pleasantly surprised how close the thermal performance of the SP36 was to the Q8, despite the smaller size and weight, and the absence of decent fins. This observation should be sufficient to get the correct idea about the SP36: a good thermal design for its form factor.
But if the Q8 and SP36 were tested side-by-side I’m sure they will differ.
Satan@103TFS
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djozz could you ask Sofirn for GB price like Q8 ? The list price is quit steep.

djozz
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Satan@103TFS wrote:
djozz could you ask Sofirn for GB price like Q8 ? The list price is quit steep.

Barry has told me that it is unavoidable that the SP36 wil be a bit more expensive as the Q8, so the current $50 for the SP36 is certainly not far from a possible group buy price (if a group buy is going to happen).

And personally I think that 50 dollar for what you get (if no design flaws will be found after all, which is always possible with new designs) is not steep, it is pretty much what I expected.

That said, I suggested Barry a price of 45 dollar when he asked me what I thought was a good price that was higher than the Q8 price.

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I’m glad to see this light available now.

I wish it would have been a tad cheaper, but then i bought more expensive lights with less output and no USB charging… (thinking of the L6 or S70 for instance). This one i really like. Smaller soda can shape, almost as bright as the Q8 with the convenience of on board charging. What else? Thumbs Up

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Considering that this SP36 is a simplified body design of the Q8 to cut production costs, it should cost a bit less if it didn’t have the USB-C charging feature + new firmware. It’s up to constumers to consider if it’s worth it for $54.95.
Personnaly I consider that the built-in charger is not worth it as I prefer to charge my batteries outside of a flashlight. I think that the BLF lantern will be the only exception for which I’m considering using it occasionnaly when away from a charger.

djozz
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Tally-ho wrote:
Considering that this SP36 is a simplified body design of the Q8 to cut production costs…

That is quite some assumption that you state there as a truth.

I do not see a simpler body, in fact the body design is very similar to the Q8, just different, you may or may not like the difference. The amount of machining may be just a bit less because the shallower finning and that the driver cavity can be turned instead of milled, but the extra body hole for the USB-port plus the grooves to position the driver sort of compensates for that.

But I agree that if you do not fancy USB-charging, the SP36 gets less attractive.

Anthon
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Ordered one SP36, I just fell in love with the light when I saw it on AliExpress

I hope the leds can be swapped, I’d like to test some LH351D or XPL Hi in it

SKV89
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$55 is really not a bad price considering the exceptional performance and practicality (4.25 minutes on Turbo before stepdown), relatively compact size, and most important of all, the only soda can light in existence with USB charging, not to mention it is USB Type C.

Any idea when we will have Anduril on this? Also hoping Sofirn will one day offer 5A, 5D, 4A, 4D, 3A or 3D tint neutral white emitters.

DB Custom
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Wish I could just pounce on it right now, really pleased with what I’m hearing. (that ugly 66 never even tempted me! Silly )

Unfortunately, I’m in the middle of a rather large build that just cost me nearly $90 in cells alone… I will have to wait for the wallet to recover.

Besides, Sofirn knows they are about to get into me for some more moolah when they get a certain something ready to sell… Wink

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DB Custom wrote:
(that ugly 66 never even tempted me! Silly )

The only reason I haven’t snagged a sexy 66 (I should trademark that name) is the battery carrier. I have several lights with that design and I just don’t like them. Plus, I think soda can lights really, really need to have built-in charging.

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Multi-cell lights are typically best charged in an independent charger where you can keep an eye on them and check rates before and after. Charging multiple cells in a light is just wrong in my opinion. A simple example is my Nitecore TM16 with series cells. I checked it one day after it’d sat for quite a while and one of the 4 was dead while the other 3 were at 4.17V. The one cell unexplainedly decided to take a hike. That could have been really bad if an internal charger had been applied with no way to check each cell first! These were quality LG HE-4 cells, not very old and seldom used.

Always best to check cells coming out of the light, coming off the charger, and keeping an eye on the temperatures as they charge. If I have to leave the area when I’m charging cells, I remove the cells and start over when I come back. And sometimes I charge up to 30 at a time! Yes, I have multiple 8 bay and 4 bay chargers. (And 2 bay and single bay)

I have over 300 cells to go with my over 200 flashlights. Been doing this for a while now…

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This is a different situation in a parallel setup though. Much safer.

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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Anthon wrote:
I hope the leds can be swapped

That’s going to be difficult. The reflector is screwed in from below, so emitter swaps require removing the driver first, to access the reflector screws, to access the MCPCB. And the driver is glued.

It can be done, as djozz did, but it’s not trivial.

SKV89 wrote:
4.25 minutes on Turbo before stepdown

To be fair, my test showed 2.5 minutes, and it was on a cold day.

SKV89 wrote:
Any idea when we will have Anduril on this?

That’s entirely up to Sofirn. I got it working and published though, so there’s always the possibility of flashing it yourself if you can get the driver out.

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Just got feedback from Sofirn that they will be selling the SP36 with Andúril later on. Smile I don't know when, though.

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TexasToasted wrote:
I don't have a ROT66 yet, but the more pictures I see of that light, the more I want one. !http://toykeeper.net/torches/sofirn-sp36/d4s-rot66-sp36-blfq8.jpg!

 

ROT66 looks much better in real. It's become the magnet of my collection when friends drop by.

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How does this compare to Sofirn Q8?

djozz
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mmalive wrote:
How does this compare to Sofirn Q8?

The SP36 is a Q8 a bit shrunken, a bit more lightweight, a bit less thermal performance (lower runtime in turbo before stepdoen, but still minutes), but becasue it uses the lower voltage XP-L2 instead of XP-L, the output (stock) is the same as the Q8, with some yellow corona around the hotspot as is typical for XP-L2 (I do not find it disturbing). Also the same as the Q8 is the UI (Narsil 1.0), but (see above) there are plans for Anduril.

I think the most significant difference with the Q8 is that it has USB charging, and it is even the faster (2A) USB-C.

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According to its manual the SP36 uses NarsilM 1.2 but I don't know (yet) where the difference is to version 1.0.

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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

According to its manual the SP36 uses NarsilM 1.2 but I don’t know (yet) where the difference is to version 1.0.

NarsilM v1.2 adds momentary/tactical (I think it’s from Off, do a 4 clicks or 5 clicks will go to momentary mode), this is not present on NarsilM v1.0.

Plus the strobes modes in v1.0 are a bit harder to access (non-cycleable), in NarsilM v1.2, the strobes modes can be cycled.

PBWilson
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There’s a lot that I like about this light. I love my pair of Q8 lights but they’re kinda bulky for a coat pocket. I’m hoping that this one will be just that much smaller and easier to carry.

I’m waiting for a real-life sample to be posted and then I’d bet I pull the trigger and add an SP36 to my lights.

Any idea if it’ll eventually be sold on Amazon like the rest of the Sofirn line?

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djozz wrote:
mmalive wrote:
How does this compare to Sofirn Q8?

The SP36 is a Q8 a bit shrunken, a bit more lightweight, a bit less thermal performance (lower runtime in turbo before stepdoen, but still minutes), but becasue it uses the lower voltage XP-L2 instead of XP-L, the output (stock) is the same as the Q8, with some yellow corona around the hotspot as is typical for XP-L2 (I do not find it disturbing). Also the same as the Q8 is the UI (Narsil 1.0), but (see above) there are plans for Anduril.

I think the most significant difference with the Q8 is that it has USB charging, and it is even the faster (2A) USB-C.

The most important difference is CC with around 5500K as stated in the lab report.
And hard to change LEDs or mod.
I don’t think I buy it, a D4S seems a better option to me. LED, optic and firmware changeable.

joechina
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

According to its manual the SP36 uses NarsilM 1.2 but I don’t know (yet) where the difference is to version 1.0.

A pdf with the changes is in the Google dir
Should be all mentioned in the first post
http://bit.ly/narsilthread

delete
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40-45 dollar group buy.please

Micmania
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delete wrote:
40-45 dollar group buy.please

nice wishes … but I think you are too old to believe in xmas … Wink

djozz
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I have not heard anything of a group buy yet..

PBWilson
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The price seemed to jump a few bucks from the first time it was released. If it can come down a bit and I can see a real-life sample, I’d be ready to order one.

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