Sofirn C8G

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ecotack
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Sofirn C8G

I was excited to see the specs on the Sofirn C8G. I’d been thinking about how to put a XHP35 HI in a C8 for a while. I ordered one and today it arrived Wink

I already have a UTorch C8F, so knew I liked the form factor. With big hands, the 21700 tubes extra width helps and I’m starting to prefer side switches.
First thing was to change the mode to group 2, ramping. The beam and brightness was not disappointing, although I need to do a field test. Tail current measured just over 7A on turbo. It was difficult to juggle the clamp meter, wire, C8G, press the mode switch and see the meter.

Only one gripe at the moment, you can’t turn the LED off with the mode button, unlike the UTorch C8F. Its probably too early for this new flashlight, but if its possible to re-flash the driver and add the feature to turn off on the mode button, I’d like to know.

Sorry no pics, I left my phone at work,

DAGG3R
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I have a C8G on the way (hopefully it shows up in the next few days). Not being able to turn OFF the LED with the mode button is a huge disappointment for me. I have the Sofirn C8F (21700 version) and the Sofirn SP70, and both of these lights can be turned OFF with the mode button. One difference I have noticed between the C8F and SP70 is when the tail switch is activated (turned on). On the C8F, the LED stays in whatever state (OFF or ON) it was in when the tail switch was last deactivated (turned off). On the SP70, the LED always starts in the ON state, even if the LED was OFF when the tail switch was last deactivated (turned off). Sorry if that was confusing. My point being is that it sounds like all three of these Sofirn lights have a different tail/mode switch UI and that’s a little annoying. I would have thought that Sofirn would have at least made it consistent with the C8F.

DavidEF
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DAGG3R, that does sound confusing. I would vote for mode switch can turn off but tail switch can still turn it back on.

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Macka17
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And I’d vote for a side sw only.
Those tail ones are nothing but a nuisance
for older/stiffer hands.

Satan@103TFS
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I prefer C8F UI than C8G turn on moon light mode for C8G need to press side button and tail button Facepalm

ecotack
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Macka17 wrote:
And I’d vote for a side sw only.
Those tail ones are nothing but a nuisance
for older/stiffer hands.

Not necessary either, just a half turn on the tail cap will isolate the battery.

I like a UI that can go brighter or darker, without having to do the opposite first (if that makes sense) and a short-cut to turbo. So the C8F on ramping is great and the Bistro UI is ideal on reverse clicky only flashlights. Hopefully at some point Sofirn will update the UI to match the C8F.

HONDARIDER
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Got one of the 2 I ordered today. I really like it so far. I have already replaced the emmiter with a 3000K XHP35-HI that I purchased from Arrow.com. Absolutely fantastic.

icpart
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Hi guys. My Sofirn C8G arrived few weeks ago. I figured out there’s undocumented moon mode without needing to press tail switch and side switch before turn on flashlight. In turbo mode just double click and flash will go in moon mode. From there if you double click again it will go back to turbo. It works in any mode. Also in ramping mode that’s is fastest method to go from lowest to highest brightness and start to ramp respectively from that points.

Macka17
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Ecotak.

Macka17 wrote: And I’d vote for a side sw only.
Those tail ones are nothing but a nuisance
for older/stiffer hands.

—————————————

““Not necessary either, just a half turn on the tail cap will isolate the battery.”“

——————————————-

It’s not the performance of the rear sw, what it does.
It’s the actual Activation of it.
Stiff (Older,getting arthritic) pinkies. Do NOT like bending at the joints. Especially the tip joints.

Just wait.
Tom E
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Just got the C8G, ordered on April 30th, shipped May 7th best I can tell. Looks good so far. I hope the SS bezel will fit, like I have on the C8F's.

The trick to go from turbo to moon via dbl click is documented in the manual.

Well, ramping is sort of decent - too slow and not sure if it's non-linear though. It's a major pain for using the tailswitch to power ON/OFF, specially in ramping when the single click does nothing -- very dumb, very limiting.

They probably did not implement a low parasitic drain - you have to do it both in the hardware design and the firmware, and maybe that's why they don't allow it to power OFF from the e-switch. Ok - this will definitely get a driver replacement.

Shame though that I do like the LED. It's a little on the cool side but appears to be a nice consistent tint, no nasty blues or yellows.

Anyone know what happened the the original [presale] C8G thread? It's gone, no trace accept in search results.

 

DAGG3R
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Sofirn really dropped the ball on the UI for the C8G… It’s a step backwards for their C8 line.

I noticed the same thing about the original [presale] C8G thread… Looks like it got removed/hidden from BLF users.

1stein
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Just wanted to let you know, Sofirn C8G uses a little smaller diameter LED PCB. I needed to file it down a little (the replacing LED I took from KD).

And… shame on me. I managed to break the driver. Changed wires to thicker, bypassed spring, but when testing must had short-circuited mass with the battery +. Some smoke went off. The driver works but lost its power. On the highest mode it looks like moonlight mode. So now I have 3 moonlight modes only: ultramoonlight, supermoonlight and moonlight Facepalm
Anyone have idea if this is fixable?

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1stein wrote:
[...] Anyone have idea if this is fixable?

Cześć 1stein. Please get in touch with Cissy via Sofirn's shop on AliExpress (send message to seller). Usually, they can send you a spare driver for a small amount of money. Powodzenia! Smile Thomas

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I have reported the issue with C8G's UI to Sofirn. Barry is being informed that most customers would appreciate a UI like C8F or SP70 on the C8G as well, i.e. the light can be turned on/off with the e-switch (being in standby) while the tail switch will mechanically turns on/off the entire light. I cannot promise you guys that this approach will be successful but I drew Barry's attention to this issue now.

Cheers,

Thomas

1stein
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

1stein wrote:
[…] Anyone have idea if this is fixable?

Cześć 1stein. Please get in touch with Cissy via Sofirn’s shop on AliExpress (send message to seller). Usually, they can send you a spare driver for a small amount of money. Powodzenia! Smile Thomas

Cześć. Thanks for advice, I already did that. Sofirn has great customer service.
Man, your language gifted Thumbs Up

Tom E
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Sounds like you got a nice "moon" "light" there smile. Hopefully they can get you a new driver, but for me, I'm tossing it - wayyyy too annoying. I'll probably go with a 3V XHP50.2 with NarsilM or Anduril. Should do 3500-4000 lumens, not as throwy, but maybe a slice&dice would help.

Coman
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Distance ? Smile

80T
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Waiting for my C8G here, but with not so much excitement.. Flat Stare

 

Things I like:

 - Single emitter - (thus.. single big reflector) although it's a 6/12V boost driver, so idk about the efficiency VS a 3V emitter/driver. (not a big deal, I kinda like the XHP35's anyways, so it's kind of a neutral point actually)

 - Dual Switch - Big plus for me personally because I can "lock the flashlight" without wearing the threads (also makes perfect sense to have a forward sw here - since the main/tail sw doesn't also change modes)

 - Decent fuel format - I like the 21700 for it's quite considerably higher capacity than the regular 18650's (nearly reaching 26650 capacity) and by now it's enough of a widely adopted format (Cheers for that Elon/Tesla!)

 - Ramping UI Group - Another big plus - the only UI that I would use with any flashlight where the format/application would allow it. Reason why I bought and love the C8F.

 

Things I dislike:

 - The omission of "Stand-By" from the Side/Mode Switch - Big minus as far as I'm concerned and a very unwelcome downgrade from the C8F - disappointed with this change (this light will have to see a driver swap)

 - Access to "Moonlight" Mode - Both methods are flawed - Method 1 requires you to hold the side/mode sw while activating the light from the main/power sw - not too user friendly Flat Stare Method 2 requires you to firstly access the "Turbo" Mode - which kinda beats the purpose of "Moonlight" (low light) in the first place.. and second, I don't want to accidentally go from Turbo all the way down to Moonlight by trying to activate the "Turbo" Mode again - let's say I'm not sure the light it's in "Turbo" Mode already and I want to make sure I'm at the full brightness - thus I'll Double-Click it, just in case - What happens ? I'm getting all the way down to "Moonlight".. Not ideal Flat Stare Better would be let's say from "Turbo" Mode a Double-Click would go back to "Full Turbo" again in case there was a step-down - Much more prefered than going down to Moonlight - A Double-Click & Hold would make much more sense to access Moonlight from "On" Modes, being that any lvl. of brightness or straight from "Turbo" - My 2 Cents..

 

Other thoughts:

Just found out from some previews posts in here that The SP70 also has a slight difference in UI compared to the C8F - but this time I'm not sure which one is actually more practical/useful in real applications, the C8F, or the SP70. While the C8F would memorize the On/Off state of the side/mode switch when you're powering on the light from the main/power switch, the SP70 would always come up in the On state, regardless if you've left the light in "Stand-By" Mode from the side/mode switch previously - which seems to also be useful, as you'll always know that when you're taping/pressing the main/power switch you'll always get light. So I'm quite on the fence about this one since I only have the C8F but not the SP70, but I'd say both the options for the main/power switch states from Off are equally good/viable UI options. Even if I don't have the SP70, I can see the appeal in that UI functionality and I'm slightly leaning towards that behavior. I'd say having both and configurable would be amazing.

 

I'm wondering if the C8F driver would physically fit in the C8G host (I'm worried about the "single reflector" depth compared to the C8F's "triple" one.. ) and how would it fare powering an SST-40 instead of the 3 XP-L's..

Maybe if it would be too powerful for the SST-40, if it's not a perfect fit already.. I could swap in a bigger value current sensing resistor and play with that value until the driver would provide just enough power to the SST-40 as to not overdrive it. Also, as a side effect I wonder how it would affect the Moonlight mode.. Yet, I think the SST-40 takes just a tad lower voltage than some 3xXP-L's setup.. thus, less power overall. Definitely going to try and see if I could fit the C8F Driver inside the C8G, already bought it along with the C8G flashlight itself with this in mind - all this being because of the UI design changes.

 

[EDIT]

Forgot to mention another nice addition that I'd like to see with this UI format: The Ramping could go from "Moonlight" to "High" and "Turbo" Mode would only be accessible by a Double-Click.

Maybe just adding another "Ramping Group" with this behavior - probably would be the easiest way to implement it. I can tell I would definitely like this feature and it's useful since I have the Lumintop GT Mini with the Narsil FW which behaves just like this (well, it also has a floor for "Low", so it's going from "Low" to "High", not from "Moonlight" to "High", but I'm only interested in the ceiling, not the floor of the ramping, as I don't really like being unable to go all the way down to "Moonlight" from any On state by ramping or at least having a shortcut - as I was mentioning a bit earlier on, a Double-Click & Hold shortcut would do just fine imo - I would very much like having this shortcut in addition to the "Turbo" shortcut, not so much having to power off the light to access "Moonlight" mode in case of the Lumintop GT Mini for example.. or even worse, as in the case of the C8G, having to go through "Turbo" firstly, or having to press/hold two switches and that being only from the Off state Flat Stare Really cumbersome UI this is.. )

 

[EDIT2]

So, here's another idea: I think it would make perfect sense for the already present action "Hold Mode Switch + Click the Tail Switch" to be assigned to a different action: Let's say "Battery Voltage Ckeck"

We know we already have the gross accuracy indicator present at all times (well, for 5 seconds from any interaction at least) Green - 50% ~ 100%, Slow Red flashing ~ Fast Red flashing - under 50%, but..

We could also have the nice "Color coded" Voltage indicator - Flashing the 1V step/digit value in Green and the 0.1V step/digit value in Red, thus - 3 Green blinks & 8 Red blinks would indicate a precise 3.8V Smile

And if that's too complex, I would use this shortcut to change between Mode Groups instead of the 4 fast Clicks. I mean, it's not an action that you would accidentally do.. Unlike let's say trying to activate the "Moonlight" Mode from the On state - Fast Double-Click to "Turbo", then another fast Double-Click to "Moonlight" - You can see how this could easily turn by accident into a 4 fast Clicks..

 

For now, I would say that the current C8G UI is vastly unsatisfactory compared to even the C8F or the SP70 and even those could benefit from some of these changes (I would argue they'd be improvements over the current state) - like the Mode Groups change being achieved by Holding the Mode sw + Power sw instead of the 4 fast Clicks and maybe having a ceiling for the ramping. And, not to forget, the shortcut for "Moonlight" - Double-Click & Hold.

 

[EDIT3]

Ok, yet another idea..

I think we could have both "Battery Voltage Check" (if that's a viable option for this light's MCU/programming capabilities) and Mode Groups change on the same two button combo:

 

 - From Off: Hold Mode SW & Power On from the Main/Power SW = "Battery Voltage Check"

and

 - From On: Hold Mode SW & Power Off from the Main/Power SW = "Mode Group cycle/step"

 

Or..

 

 - From Off: Hold Mode SW & Power On from the Main/Power SW = "Mode Group cycle/step"

and

 - 4 fast clicks = "Battery Voltage Check" - which it would now be more easily accessible and without powering the light Off, thus handier and not interfering with any of the regular UI actions Smile

 

 

So, Sofirn - This ^ ^ is my challenge to you Smile

Cheers!

bmengineer
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Do we know what bin is used in this light?

Find all my reviews of flashlights and more gear at www.bmengineer.com

icpart
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Coman wrote:
Distance ? Smile

Maybe around 300-400m with full power.

gchart
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Curious if anyone has up-close pics of the driver (the business side of things, of course)?

80T
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Curious about this myself as I want to give this light a driver swap, more specifically the C8F driver which has a perpendicular pcb soldered on the main PCB, thus taking some space in the vertical plane as well. So far I haven't found anything online about the internals, only exterior pics, that's all. I imagine the driver for this light would be either single PCB, or a sandwich of two, to save space in the vertical plane due to the single, thus deeper reflector I'd imagine.

WTF
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It’s a 21mm driver, Kaidomain and Mountain both offer 20 or 22mm drivers. I think all those drivers are clicky based and would need some tweaking for an E-switch. Lone Oceans has a 20mm driver, its clicky based. He has released the firmware (arduino based) so maybe someone can write some new code for it.

There doesn’t appear to be anything too fancy going on with the mcu, its probably as large as it is just to get enough memory. A switch, some indicator lights, three volts out for enable and the pwm signal to the boost converter. Possibly a voltage monitoring input. The rest of the pins appear unused to me. Unfortunately the tricky part of swapping out the MCU is the millivolt feedback from the sense resistors seems to go back to an op amp which then turns into a voltage output feeding into the mcu.

The mcu is contiuously modulating the pwm output. It appears the driver will run away if you just give it a pwm signal with no feedback loop. I don’t know of any BLF firmware that does a feedback loop. I can’t figure out what the boost converter is. With my limited knowledge, no data sheet and no programming skills its looking like a dead end for me. I might pull the mcu board off at some point and feed it a pwm signal with my power supply current limit set safe just to see what happens. Probably wait till Sofirn starts selling replacement drivers first. Or put a 4000k led in it and leave it be.

It’s a good light as it is, just a little clunky on the user interface. If it wasn’t for Tom and Toykeeper spoiling us we would probably love it.

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smile - we've been hit with no many negatives as of late, nice to hear some good words smilecool

Funtastic
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ecotack wrote:
Only one gripe at the moment, you can’t turn the LED off with the mode button

Same as the Convoy L6. I don’t find this an issue

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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Macka17 wrote:
Ecotak.

Macka17 wrote: And I’d vote for a side sw only.
Those tail ones are nothing but a nuisance
for older/stiffer hands.

—————————————

““Not necessary either, just a half turn on the tail cap will isolate the battery.”“

——————————————-

It’s not the performance of the rear sw, what it does.
It’s the actual Activation of it.
Stiff (Older,getting arthritic) pinkies. Do NOT like bending at the joints. Especially the tip joints.

Just wait.

Then just unscrew the tail cap a half turn to switch off and on. No need to use the rear switch. Maybe you should only get side clickys moving forward.

Too many complaints from a budget friendly light.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

Funtastic
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Moonlight access on a dedicated thrower? Why is this a huge issue, I’d only ever use this light for hunting. Use something else if you’re needing moonlight. like an EDC.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

80T
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Well it's more of a commodity, a convenient feature tohhave on a light, thrower or not. Of course it wouldn't be of too much use outdoors  but let's say you want the moonlight at night when you're in bed - just point the light to the ceiling and you get some ambient  just like you would with a flooder. Myself, I find 1LM or even sub Lumen pointed at the ceiling plenty light to brighten up my small room at night. Even the stand-by LED's from the various equipment, monitor, router, mouse, etc. are a noticeable amount of light in pitch dark and I can see where to pick up the flashlight. My GT Mini or even micro, with the lowest moonlight lvl. set up it's perfectly enough for such purpose. If anything, while indoors  there's always much reflection from everywhere compared to outdoors, so, no reason not to have a nice feature if it's a possibility Wink

80T
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Some thoughts after receiving my C8G this Friday.. Well, mostly nags and some rantings actually.. Flat Stare

 

 - Driver seems to be the same layout as the C8F - main PCB with a perpendicular secondary / daughter PCB - just a bit shorter than the one on the C8F tho and a bit more off-center as well to accommodate the small inductor for the boost circuit that sits on the main PCB - a C8F driver would almost fit if not just barely in this host, as the compartment hosting the driver, under the emitter's shelf it's a bit shallower due to the deeper single emitter reflector in the C8G. The C8G overall it's around 2mm longer than the C8F just because of this deeper reflector.

 - There's no Stand-By function on the side switch as on the C8F, which I knew it would to be a letdown, but not as much as it actually was when I got the flashlight and practically tried to use it.. Very dissappointing Sad Likely that is because of the boost diver circuit doesn't have a stand-by function itself.. ?

 - The Ramping itself seems to be linear current, thus the start of the ramp seems to ramp up the perceived brightness very fast from moon to a relatively high brightness, then, for the longest remaining part of the ramping after the initial part, the brightness only seems to slower and slower gain in intensity for a long period.. Flat Stare which is another bigger letdown in practice then in expectation (also didn't even expected or knew this beforehand to begin with.. ) This linear current ramp really beats the purpose of having a practical ramping UI in the first place.. because, well.. it's not that practical in real usage scenarios.. Flat Stare

 - The Moon mode - 10LM - Waaaay too much (even if it's a thrower.. ) - 1LM, even if at least from the cumbersome accessible Moon mode straight from Off (holding the side switch & power On from the tail clicky) that, btw, leads me to the next point/nag..

 - The Moon mode access it's cumbersome and non practical at best: One method is a buton combo and only from the from Off state, the other mode has you first accessing the Turbo mode and from there going down to Moon mode - which beats the purpose of the Moon mode in the first place.

 

Ok, so there is at least one plus side of this driver compared to the C8F a reference though with this flashlight, so it's not all bad Smile

 - Just noticed on this light, compared to the C8F, that from Turbo or Strobe modes, a long press it's not considered a alternate way of standing-by the light (hence, this light doesn't feature such a function to begin with anyways.. ) but actually, more convenient, more intuitive, long press from Turbo mode would start ramping down (just like with Narsil) and from the Strobe mode, it would cycle through the disco/flashy modes (Strobe [of variable frequency] > Beacon [~2s interval] > SOS [a fast one just as I like it] > cycle back to Strobe > etc. > .. ) On the C8F, oddly and quite disappointingly for me personally, long press from Turbo/Strobe modes would put the light in Stand-By.. Flat Stare I guess it's an "alternate" way, a "shortcut" to straight away put the light in stand-by without clicking twice from those special modes. Makes sense, but I'd rather have the C8G's like behavior, seems like the most convenient, intuitive for me. Even the Narsil way still has a "flaw" as far as my preference goes, as accessing the Turbo would always first stand-by the light, so single click from Turbo will be stand-by.. Flat Stare then clicking again would power on the light back on in the previews level of brightness.

 

Btw, some pics of the 2 relevant IC's on the C8G's driver:

 

1st pic - the MC

2nd pic - the Boost IC (and the inductor as well)

gchart
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On the plus side… the switch appears to be on its own board, making a driver replacement much easier if one is so inclined to do so. Are you able to measure the driver diameter?

I know you could always ignore the tailswitch or use it for lockout purposes, but I’d welcome a no-switch tailcap offering.

80T
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I'll measure the driver diameter when I'm getting back home, but until then  I'd recall it was a 21mm or 21.5..? Just the same as the C8F if you have the measurements for that one.

 

And about the tail switch, the Lumintop GT Mini would fit the bill quite nicely if you don't have it already, although slightly bigger head diameter and I'd argue a more cumbersome access to the various blinky modes. Other than that, a bit nicer design I'd say and only 18650 fuel compatible.

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