Ultratac A1 V1 vs V2

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jasontheguitarist
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Ultratac A1 V1 vs V2

So I got an A1 a while ago when I was first starting out down this rabbit hole. Recently I saw that the V2 model has replaced the original on amazon.

The V1 uses a cree XPL (not XPL hi) which seems to be a neutral tint somewhat rosy.

The V2 description on amazon just has one sentence added about upgrading the driver and LED with absolutely no details, so I ordered one to find out.

The V2 appears to be using a 6500k SST-20. A very poorly binned one at that, it looks like puke on the lowest mode, I didn’t think a 6500k LED could look so green. On the higher modes it’s a very cool white and presents a much tighter beam than the V1 model, although it’s still a tiny little reflector, so it’s not a thrower.

Here are some beamshot comparisons using 14500s and nimh AAs in both lights. V1 on the left, V2 on the right.

https://imgur.com/a/sVJBdwk

There’s nothing stating they are using an SST-20 now, but the LED is pretty unique looking, and notorious for being green on low modes. The markings visible on the emitter are just like my other SST-20s. V2 is on the left in these two photos.

https://imgur.com/UxHsxV1

https://imgur.com/QrBI0TH

These things are a major pain to open up, the retaining ring has stupid little rounded notches that my pliers just slip out of. The ring is in there super tight too. I was able to open my old one up, but not the new model.

I don’t really like the cool white SST-20 very much in the the new one, I’m just going to stick an Energizer L91 in it and leave it in my car.

Edited by: jasontheguitarist on 08/13/2019 - 19:32
toddcshoe
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Thank you, that interesting. I have a few V1’s it seems. I found them on Amazon many months ago for a great deal and couldn’t resist. Loved the idea of a small Tool AA type light with no pesky blinkys at all, not even hidden, they just don’t exist on this light. I would have paid double for it.

I threw a 219b in two of them that I kept and gave away the others as gifts.

Thank you again for bringing this up. I will order a few and see what I can do with it.

Oh yeah, if you go to Ultratac’s website and use their email link there, they respond very quickly. They can also help you with a discount if you are going to buy more than 1. Just don’t tell Amazon that. Smile

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jasontheguitarist
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I’ve tried to open thing up and I can’t do it. My trusty needle nose pliers fit in the notches just fine, but the notches in the retaining ring are rounded, so the pliers slip out.

When I do manage to get them to stay in place and apply some torque, it damages the brass ring, the edges of the notches are even more rounded off now and it’s futile to even keep trying.

I did get my old one open using the same method, and there wasn’t any visible glue on the threads. Just put together super tight.

I’m curious what you use to get that retaining ring out.

Either the newer ones are harder to open, or just this particular one.

It works as is, but having a light I can’t open irritates me to no end.

Muto
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jasontheguitarist wrote:
I’ve tried to open thing up and I can’t do it. My trusty needle nose pliers fit in the notches just fine, but the notches in the retaining ring are rounded, so the pliers slip out.

When I do manage to get them to stay in place and apply some torque, it damages the brass ring, the edges of the notches are even more rounded off now and it’s futile to even keep trying.

I did get my old one open using the same method, and there wasn’t any visible glue on the threads. Just put together super tight.

I’m curious what you use to get that retaining ring out.

Either the newer ones are harder to open, or just this particular one.

It works as is, but having a light I can’t open irritates me to no end.

Would it be possible to use a Dremel tool and make new holes 90 degrees away from damaged area in brass ring?
If so, then use 2 strong nails/drillblanks/etc. set in a vise at the proper distance and set the head of the flashlight down onto the nails and turn the head with big lock jaw pliers. Maybe with rubber gloves/intertube as a protector from damage.

Just a thought.

EDIT;
I do have one off these, series one, forgot it was on hand and I now see just how small those cuts are in the brass ring. No real room to drill holes.
Bad design from a modding and or service standpoint.
Still could try new cuts and maybe one of those ring pliers that expand when squeezed.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

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“It’s gonna be herd-developed and that’s gonna happen.”

Yep it already happened

jasontheguitarist
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Muto wrote:
jasontheguitarist wrote:
I’ve tried to open thing up and I can’t do it. My trusty needle nose pliers fit in the notches just fine, but the notches in the retaining ring are rounded, so the pliers slip out.

When I do manage to get them to stay in place and apply some torque, it damages the brass ring, the edges of the notches are even more rounded off now and it’s futile to even keep trying.

I did get my old one open using the same method, and there wasn’t any visible glue on the threads. Just put together super tight.

I’m curious what you use to get that retaining ring out.

Either the newer ones are harder to open, or just this particular one.

It works as is, but having a light I can’t open irritates me to no end.

Would it be possible to use a Dremel tool and make new holes 90 degrees away from damaged area in brass ring?
If so, then use 2 strong nails/drillblanks/etc. set in a vise at the proper distance and set the head of the flashlight down onto the nails and turn the head with big lock jaw pliers. Maybe with rubber gloves/intertube as a protector from damage.

Just a thought.

EDIT;
I do have one off these, series one, forgot it was on hand and I now see just how small those cuts are in the brass ring. No real room to drill holes.
Bad design from a modding and or service standpoint.
Still could try new cuts and maybe one of those ring pliers that expand when squeezed.

Yea. Not a lot of room to work with, and great risk of destroying the driver in the process. They aren’t made to be modded or serviced I guess, just built once for cheap and thrown away if they stop working, just like most electronics these days. On the other hand, I also have the Thorfire TG06s which is super easy to open up and mess with. It’s a much better AA sized light for modding.

Lightfan
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I recently noticed Amazon is offering a neutral white version of the A1. I don't see any Amazon reviews of this version, which leads me to believe it was recently introduced. Does anyone here have experience with the NW version?

jasontheguitarist
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Lightfan wrote:

I recently noticed Amazon is offering a neutral white version of the A1. I don’t see any Amazon reviews of this version, which leads me to believe it was recently introduced. Does anyone here have experience with the NW version?

Given the limited details, I think it’s just the same old Ultratac A1 V1. The one I have has a neutral looking Cree XPL in it. Kind of has the signature yellowish hotspot with cooler spill that cree is known for in some of their “neutral” LEDs. Ultratac called it “cool white” but it’s not, there were many bad amazon reviews from people complaining about the “yellow” light.

Lightfan
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Jason, thank you for the info. I have the CW V1, and its tint does have a slightly neutral look. I will probably steer clear of this NW V1 version.

contactcr
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Here’s how I modded my UltraTac A1 (V1?). Great host if it wasn’t so pesky to open.

jasontheguitarist
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Lightfan wrote:

Jason, thank you for the info. I have the CW V1, and its tint does have a slightly neutral look. I will probably steer clear of this NW V1 version.

The confusion could be avoided if Ultratac bothered to list what LED and tint is in each model. The V1 said “cool white” Cree XPL, however it has a yellow hotspot and coolish spill, so I think it’s a 5000k XPL instead.

The V2 doesn’t list the LED at all, but the one I have is an SST-20. The SST has pretty recognizable markings on it, and enough of the LED is visible through the reflector hole to idtentify it. It’s either the 5000k or the 6500k version though, horrible CRI and puke green on low.

I tried and failed over and over to open and mod the V2, The retaining ring is pretty messed up now but still won’t budge. I eventually banished it to the shed outside with an energizer lithium AA in it so it survives the heat.

contactcr
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Here is what I did for the V1. Guess I forgot the link

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1451513#comment-1451513

jasontheguitarist
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contactcr wrote:
Here is what I did for the V1. Guess I forgot the link

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1451513#comment-1451513

I checked my off brand dremel kit and sure enough I also had a tiny drill bit.

I did the same thing and finally got it open. I stuck an LH351D in there for now.

contactcr
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jasontheguitarist wrote:
contactcr wrote:
Here is what I did for the V1. Guess I forgot the link

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1451513#comment-1451513

I checked my off brand dremel kit and sure enough I also had a tiny drill bit.

I did the same thing and finally got it open. I stuck an LH351D in there for now.

Glad that was able to help. I also have a LH351D in mine. Is the reflector the same on both versions?

jasontheguitarist
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contactcr wrote:

Glad that was able to help. I also have a LH351D in mine. Is the reflector the same on both versions?

Yea, the host isn’t changed. I think the only difference is the LED. Ultratac’s product listing says they upgraded the driver too, but it seems about the same to me.