Sipik SK68 Clone - 3-mode. First impressions. (Picture heavy)

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Dimlux
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(Edit: post updated with information about the Ultrafire 3-mode after Update2)

I received today the 3-mode Sipik SK68 clone from eletrading on Ebay. The light appears to be on par with my other Sipik clones (UltraFire from Manafont and one from tomtop_w on Ebay) in terms of build quality. So far I've only tested it with Eneloops. It appears to be almost as bright as the UltraFire Sipik clone, approx. 10% less light output based on ceiling bounce.

I measured 1.11A on high with a fully charged Eneloop AA battery and 0.34A on low. Compared to the UltraFire Sipik clone, the 3-mode Sipik clone appears not to be driven as hard (the UltraFire was around 1.7A iirc on a fully charged Eneloop AA). With my lux meter I measured ~200 lux @ 1 meter (flood) on high and ~50 lux @ 1 meter on low.

Here is an image of the 3-mode Sipik clone, the Sipik clone from tomtop_w and the Ultrafire Sipik clone.

3 Sipik clones

Three Sipik SK68 clones

The 3-mode Sipik clone has a slightly larger lens/lens opening than the two other clones. The lens was removable from the head and I measured it to approx. 22 mm in diameter. The other two clones had about 2-3 mm smaller lens openings (the lenses of the other two lights were attached to the bezel and I didn't want to pry them loose just to measure them).

Here's a couple of pictures of the pill of the 3-mode Sipik clone.

3-mode pill

3-mode pill

The push/pull zoom mechanism on the 3-mode Sipik clone is much tighter that the other clones I have, i.e. it doesn't slide as easily as the other clones. Me like.

The switch is same as the other clones, with some minor differences.

3-mode switch


When zoomed in, the 3-mode Sipik clone has the "clearest" projection of the LED, not as fuzzy as the other two.

3 Sipik clone LED patterns

The weather here atm is crap, so I might post some beamshots if the weather improves.

 

Update

Chicago X wrote:

Can the pill from the Ultrafire fit in the new light?  I would be curious to see the combo.

The pill from the Ultrafire fits the new light. I've included a pic a bit further down of the 3-mode light with the Ultrafire pill.


Ultrafire and 3-mode pills side by side. The placement of the o-ring on the 3-mode pill is what makes the zoom "tighter", which I really like.

UF and 3-mode pills

Because of the difference in length of the wide part of the pill, the 3-mode version can be zoomed a bit further.


Here is a picture of the Ultrafire and the 3-mode when zoomed in, notice that the 3-mode is slightly taller due to different pill which allows the 3-mode to be zoomed in further.

UF and 3-mode side by side

Here are the measurements of the Ultrafire compared to the 3-mode Sipik clone:

 FloodZoomGap
Ultrafire92.26 mm98.29 mm6.00 mm
3-mode92.03 mm99.60 mm7.65 mm

 Gap is the part between the head and the "fins" on the body when zoomed in

 

 


The Ultrafire when zoomed in with the original lens (mouse out) and with the lens from the 3-mode (mouse over).

Comparison of UF and 3-mode lens


The Ultrafire clone flood (mouse out) and zoomed in (mouse over)

UF flood


The 3-mode Sipik clone flood (mouse out) and zoomed in (mouse over).

3-mode flood


And finally the 3-mode Sipik clone with the Ultrafire pill, flood (mouse out) and zoomed in (mouse over)

3-mode with UF pill flood


Lensman wrote:

Can you tell us a bit about the modes? I'm guessing they're the usual high, med, strobe.. Also, any clues as to the manufacturer, or something that might help me find this model somewhere else who actually ships to UK?

The modes in terms of light output are: high 100%, low 25% (measured around 200 lux @ 1 meter on high and around 50 lux @ 1 meter on low). Also measured the tailcap current: 1.11A on high and 0.34A on low.

My 3-mode Sipik clone from eletrading has no text on it, while in the pictures on Ebay it has the text "Ultrafire" on it. My guess would be that the light that topicshop sells on Ebay is the same model as the one I received from eletrading. In fact, I suspect that both topicshop and eletrading might be the same seller as both registered Aug-29-06 and the text on both pages are identical (Payment, Shipping, Return policy etc.).


Update2 (12 January 2012)

Today I received another 3-mode Sipik SK68 clone from eletrading that I had ordered. However this time it had the Ultrafire brand printed on the side compared to the first light that had no text on it.

There are a few differences between the Ultrafire 3-mode Sipik SK68 clone (from now on UF 3-mode) and the no name 3-mode Sipik SK68 clone (from now on NN 3-mode).

1. Amps & tint
I measured the UF 3-mode to 0.68A on high and 0.21A on low compared to the NN 3-mode which measured 1.12A on high and 0.32A on low. However the light output is pretty much identical according to my cheap lux meter (tested both lights with the same Eneloop battery and from the same distance and the results were almost identical). The UF 3-mode has a "warmer", more yellowish output than the NN 3-mode which appears to have a colder, more blueish output.

2. Pills
The pills are different as can be seen on the pictures below.

UF 3-mode pill

UF 3-mode pill

UF 3-mode pill


3. Lens opening
The lens opening on the UF 3-mode is similar to a "normal" 1-mode Sipik clone and not as wide as the NN 3-mode.

4. Tailstanding
As Lensman mentioned in his post in this thread the UF 3-mode can just barely tailstand due to the protruding boot.

UF 3-mode boot


Due to the different pills/lens opening the UF 3-mode isn't as "tight" as the NN 3-mode when zoomed in. I measured the NN 3-mode to have better throw than the UF 3-mode as it has a tighter beam when zoomed in.

UF 3-mode beam

kragmutt
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Thanks for the comparison.

Thanks for the comparison. Eagerly awaiting beamshots.

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Excellent comparison, thanks

Excellent comparison, thanks for posting !

The larger lens is a nice find.  Can the pill from the Ultrafire fit in the new light?  I would be curious to see the combo.

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Lensman
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Dimlux, thanks for the post, 

Dimlux, thanks for the post,  I've been waiting for your report. Can you tell us a bit about the modes? I'm guessing they're the usual high, med, strobe.. Also, any clues as to the manufacturer, or something that might help me find this model somewhere else who actually ships to UK?

Edit:

I've found this seller: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110788686599&fromMake... The pictures and product blurb look the same as eletrading; anything in this listing that makes you think they might be the same model as yours?

Dimlux
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Updated my first post with

Updated my first post with more pictures and more info as requested. The new stuff can be found after Update in the first post.

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interesting review,

interesting review, thanks.

how well does the brightness regulation work (and what are the respective runtimes)? Does the light dim over time?

On the Romisen RC-29 with 3-mode pill, we get *perfect* brightness regulation (until the PCB of the cell kicks in) and decent runtimes! Absolutely no dimming.

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Lensman
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Thanks again Dimlux. I'll

Thanks again Dimlux. I'll order a couple from Topicshop and hope for the best. Though it's odd, if they are in fact the same as yours, that topicshop's are clearly labelled Ultrafire and the eletrading model has no name. Hmm, have to wait and see..

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kreisler wrote:how well does

kreisler wrote:

how well does the brightness regulation work (and what are the respective runtimes)? Does the light dim over time?

So far, I have not had the chance to test runtimes since I received the light yesterday and I've been busy with preparations for the holidays. I might do a runtime test at some point, but don't expect too much since I'm still a newbie when it comes to LED flashlights Tongue Out.

Lensman
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@ gorann: "This is great

@ gorann: "This is great little flashlight. One mode gives it simplicity, but 3 modes gives it more of practicality. Longer runtime on low, and perhaps using it as a bike light in blinking mode".

Absolutely. If quality and brightness are on a par with the 1 mode I have then this is the light I've been looking for.

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Very well done comparison.

Very well done comparison.  Thanks for doing the pill swap. 

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Here it is on the UK

Here it is on the UK site: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130615720153

Cheaper than the standard SK68 as well!

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1. is this a forward or

1. is this a forward or reverse clicky?

2. how are modes changed? by turning the light off and then on again to advance to the next one?

3. does it remember the last mode you were in, or does it just automatically go to the next mode when you turn the light back on?

 

 

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shadeone wrote:3. does it

shadeone wrote:

3. does it remember the last mode you were in, or does it just automatically go to the next mode when you turn the light back on?

+1  Great question.  Another question I have is if the pill is solid or hollow.

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Runtime on Eneloop AA

kreisler wrote:

how well does the brightness regulation work (and what are the respective runtimes)? Does the light dim over time?

I tested the runtime of the 3-mode Sipik clone with a fully charged Eneloop AA (HR-3UTGA). Here are the results:

 Minutes  Lux
0,5203
10205
15,20,25,30207
35,40,45208
50209
55210
60,65212
70201
75164
76157
77129
77½101

I placed my lux meter at 1 meter from the light and took measurements every 5 minutes. To avoid making the table unnecessary long I used the same row for several measurements as long as the lux value hadn't changed. E.g. the third row means that the lux value stayed at 207 lux when the light had been on for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes and 30 minutes.

After 70 minutes the light output started sagging and after approx. 77.5 minutes the light output had reached 50%. At 80 minutes the light output was down to 45 lux, at 85 minutes output was 13 lux and at after 90 minutes output was 6 lux and I stopped measuring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

shadeone wrote:

1. is this a forward or reverse clicky?

2. how are modes changed? by turning the light off and then on again to advance to the next one?

3. does it remember the last mode you were in, or does it just automatically go to the next mode when you turn the light back on?

1. Reverse clicky

2. Modes are changed by a half-press.

3. It has no real memory, i.e. if you have the light turned off for 5 seconds or more it always goes back to first mode (high). If you turn it back on within 3-4 seconds or less it changes to next mode.

JohnnyMac wrote:

Another question I have is if the pill is solid or hollow.

No idea if the pill is solid or hollow. I didn't want to force it open because I only got one of these lights so far and didn't want to risk destroying it. The plastic ring that keeps the "reflector" in place appears to be firmly attached and I didn't want to pry out the driver to find out. Maybe someone else who has one of these could answer this question?Tongue Out

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Could you provide a link to

Could you provide a link to the ebay offer of eletrading?

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/CREE-
Dimlux
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scheven_architect wrote:Could

scheven_architect wrote:

Could you provide a link to the ebay offer of eletrading?

Here is the link to the light. I had posted a link to the 3-mode version in the "Sipik(?) 1-AA zoom for $6.77" thread over in the Deal Alerts forum which is why I didn't include a link in the first post of this thread. However I've now also added a link in the first post.

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In general, how would you

In general, how would you rate the overall build quality, fit/finish etc compared to the other two models? Anything feel flimsier, less solidly made?

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Lensman wrote:In general, how

Lensman wrote:

In general, how would you rate the overall build quality, fit/finish etc compared to the other two models? Anything feel flimsier, less solidly made?

As you can expect from lights that are this cheap there are some minor flaws/blemishes on the fit/finish on all models if you look closely.

+ As I mentioned earlier, the pill has an o-ring instead of the metal ring thingie on the other models which make the zoom sturdier.

+ Threads on tail cap are better, much "smoother" when screwing/unscrewing the tail cap than the other models.

± This depends on your preferences. The on/off switch isn't as sturdy as the other models. It is easier to click the light on/off than the other models. I guess some might dislike this "flimsy" switch.

- No o-ring at the bezel. Both the tomtop version and the Ultrafire version have an o-ring where the lens unscrews, the 3-mode version doesn't.

Lensman
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Ok, I've just ordered two,

Ok, I've just ordered two, one from topicshop and one from ntxmas. The Paypal billing name is Bin Li for both transactions so I assume they're the same seller. If Dimlux is right about eletrading also being the same seller as Topicshop then all three are the same company. Be very interesting to see if there's any difference in the models or the seller efficiency..

FWIW, Topicshop ebaymailed me to confrm/thanks for order etc, which is usually a promising sign. I'll update when the waiting is over.

Dimlux
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Lensman wrote:Ok, I've just

Lensman wrote:

Ok, I've just ordered two, one from topicshop and one from ntxmas. The Paypal billing name is Bin Li for both transactions so I assume they're the same seller. If Dimlux is right about eletrading also being the same seller as Topicshop then all three are the same company. Be very interesting to see if there's any difference in the models or the seller efficiency..

I just checked my Paypal billing history and eletrading has the same billing name that Lensman mentioned as the billing name for topicshop and ntxmas.

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Small update

The 3-mode Sipik SK68 clone also works with 14500s (Trustfire flames). Back to Eneloops for now as the light with a 14500 was too bright to use around the house. Tongue Out

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Sipik 3 mode clone

Guys, any one of you know where to get one with 3 modes for cheap from seller that actually ships world wide and has no limitations on shipping destination?
I have my eyes on 3-4 single mode clones from TomTop and 3 tri-mode clones from other sellers, unfortunately none of the links posted work for me since Im from Latvia and somehow those sellers dont ship over here :/

 

BTW, my first post here, glad that I found this place together with cpf Wink!

Been reading about flashlights like a mad man during past couple weeks, must say its a real science and I havent even got to the topic of modding them or creating your own Lumenstein beasts LOL Laughing out loud

So yeah, its all new to me and its so exciting, a real man HAS to have a good set of flashlights and spread em like he would his genes back in the stone age Laughing out loud

Wait, what was I talking about... oh, yeah, flashlights, so, umm, Im looking to get both super cheapies that offer incredible bang for their buck as well as more versatile tried and tested flashlights from well known and respected manufacturers.

I dont consider myself cheapie, but I dont throw my money around just like that, I like to buy the best yet not pay more than its worth for it, so Im used to spend days, weeks, months browsing internet looking for best deals, offers and gear Wink

Needless to say that I am broke, but that wont stop me from getting my flashlights, my multi tool knifes and the rest of EDC knifes and some good universal headlamp with good throw too, soon Laughing out loud!

Just wanted to add that Im probably getting couple Fenix E01's as backup lights and one or two Tank007 E09 both from DD, prices seem just about right, except for the warranty question that I am still to get definite answer on.

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Ye i would like to know as

Ye i would like to know as well what 3-mode sipik will:

 

accept 14500

good quality

good price

 

i now own a 1-mode but low mode would be nice!

Currently i'm considering buying from eletrading or ntxmas

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Good, bad and frustrating..

I received three packets today, this cheapo http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/220894394485?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=... and  two different three mode Sipik 68 clones, one each from topicshop and ntxmas. The cheapy is to use the tube as an extension for the 68s so as to run them on 2 X AA; there's a thread about this somewhere. But it was the three mode 'Sipiks' that I was excited about, and they're quite different to each other. Hmm..

To begin with, one of them is unbranded. I would say it's almost certainly the exact same model as Dimlux has reviewed above; it matches the pictures and description precisely, right down to the awol O ring at the bezel. I like it a lot, though you're right about the thinner tail boot Dimlux. Luckily I was able to swap the tailcap with one from a single mode; works perfectly and feels much nicer now. I'm slightly disconcerted by the absence of any logo, but so far no issues. I'll give it a proper test run as soon as I have time.

I would order several more of these right now, but there's a problem.. The other model that came today is different from the unbranded one and also from its single mode siblings, and I don't like it as much. This one is branded 'Ultrafire', like all my single mode versions bought from 365digital, (although the logo is slightly different) and the difficulty is that I don't know which torch came from which seller! I added a note specifically asking both to enclose the company name just in case something like this happened and (of course) neither seller did this. Sigh. The packets are the grey polythene type rather than yellow padded envelopes and there is nothing on either to enlighten me. One is stamped Hong Kong, the other Singapore; strange since the Paypal recipient is the same name for both, but this discrepancy doesn't help since both Ebay sites state that the item location is Hong Kong..

As to the differences, for a start, the Ultrafire version only just tailstands, but it leans at a perilous angle because the boot protrudes (I hate this). And I can't swap this one with a tailcap from a single mode 68 because the UF tube diameter is slightly wider than all the others. The switch mechanism is buried beneath a hard plastic bung, so doing the O ring tailstand mod would be difficult. The switch itself is also slightly less pleasant to use; stiffer in operation, but with the same flimsier, slightly squishy boot that came with the unbranded one. Despite this, I must add that the tail ring does screw in more smoothly than on the single mode versions.

What else? Well, the lens diameter of the three mode Ultrafire appears the same as the single modes, i.e. not quite as wide as the unbranded three mode. The bezel ring is a bit thinner on the non-brand, perhaps to accomodate this extra couple of mm of lens, which makes it feel less robustly built. With both three mode lights, unlike the single mode, the lenses are not fixed to the bezels, which makes it more likely that you'll lose a lens if you want to use mule mode. Also harder to keep fingerprints off. I may try to do some glueing here, if someone can tell me which type of glue to use. The UF has an O ring at the bezel where 'Brand X' doesn't, and, interestingly, the UF 3 mode is the only one out of all my Sipik clones that carries the Cree logo, although like the 'UltraFire' logo, it looks  slightly different here; fainter, and with the diamond composed of tight, thin white lines rather than solid white.

Both 3 modes seem to work fine with comparable output on AA in high (haven't tried 14500 yet) although Brand X seems to have a slight edge. This may be because its tint is decidedly cooler; the UF looks almost golden in comparison. Also it zooms a bit tighter and sharper, which adds to an impression of greater brightness. In low mode, however, the UF is noticeably lower than the unbranded version, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. All three models (single mode and both 3 modes) have a slightly different feel to the zoom action with the unbranded being marginally nicer than the UF 3 mode, which in turn is just a bit smoother and tighter than the single mode.

Has anyone else bought from either of these two Ebay outlets? I'd sell my soul to the devil to know which of them supplied the unbranded light, although I guess there's no guarantee that both ntxmas and Topicshop don't sell both models; it could be just pot luck which they send. And to be fair, unless you hate wobbly tailstand as much as I do, the UF torch doesn't seem a bad purchase. A final word on the cheapy extension tube torch: it fits the unbranded 3 mode perfectly, but not the UF version due to the latter's wider bore tube. It's also nowhere near as badly made as I was expecting for the price, just don't expect Romisen quality or output..Wink

 

 

 

motodeficient
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Was going to order one of the

Was going to order one of the three modes in the original post, but at $60 shipped I decided not too.

 

Where can I find the BEST quality Sipik sk68 or clone? Don't care if it has modes or not.

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I ordered mine (single mode)

I ordered mine (single mode) from a US based seller campingsurvivals based on this thread (after that other US seller up'd the price to $28.69!  I bought on Jan 9th (late afternoon), but haven't seen any emails saying it has shipped (and no shipping/tracking status on Ebay).

I can't speak for "quality" since I haven't received it yet.  I'm hoping it's like "how crazy is this"'s experience detailed here with this silver one being a good one.

-Garry

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Yeah I actually submitted a

Yeah I actually submitted a best offer of $7 for one to that same seller this morning. (I started the thread about that seller).

 

Will have to see if he accepts the best offer.

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Oh, Duh!  My bad!  Guess I

Oh, Duh!  My bad!  Guess I should pay more attention to thread authors!  Will let you know if/when mine comes and what it's like (although I don't have any of these SK68 variants to compare to).  I also have the Ultrafire one from Manafont coming as well, but I don't expect it for about 2 weeks.

-Garry

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I already have one from

I already have one from TomTop, and I like it so much that I want a spare in case anything ever happens to it.

In all honesty, if I could only have ONE light, this would be it. With a 14500 its very bright, more flood than any of my other lights, and when zoomed it is only out-thrown by my Solarforce MPP-1 (which is a dedicated thrower). It is smaller than all of my lights except my ITP A3 Eos. It can tailstand, and if you remove the bezel and lens, it will do a great job of filling up a room with soft light during a power outage. The ability to run on AA batteries as well is great during an emergency situation or power outage, and it should have pretty long battery life on AA although I haven't tested that yet. It is very well built, the metal seems very thick unlike some other ultra-budget lights I have. Threads are clean on the tailcap. Feels nice while holding, I could go on and on.  

I find myself using this light more than any other light.

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Now you're making me wish my

Now you're making me wish my Tomtop order would arrive!  (Well, I would wish for it to arrive anyway!)  Last tracking status still says "Dec 11th Chicago Customs".  I bet it's lost.  Maybe I should ask ChicagoX to head there and threaten a beat down if they don't send me my package! 

-Garry

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