G'afternoon Folks (intro, info, and ramblings)

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Match
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G'afternoon Folks (intro, info, and ramblings)

Hello,

  I've been lurking here for a few months and just wanted to introduce myself.  LED flashlights are new to me, but the theory is not.  I'm an ex-nuke turned EE (mainly industrial automation atm...).  

In the past month I've picked up a few new lights, most of which seem to be popular here. Only one was disappointing. In no particular order:

1.) Fenix LD01 - wonderful keychain light.  Absolutely amazing output on 10440 with a sturdy build.

2.) Trustfire XP-EF23 (DX sku 24291) Another neat keychain light. Noticeably larger than the fenix, but is a clicky with 3 modes and memory. My first light with the memory feature, and I like it a lot.  Not nearly as bright as the fenix when run on similar batteries.

3.) Ultrafire C3 (DX sku 04452). Wow!  Talk about an overachiever... The specs at DX don't do this little bugger justice.  Absolutely amazing output in any of the configurations (1xAA, 2xAA, 1x14450).  I'm also impressed with the throw as well.  The only issue I had with it, and seems I'm not alone, was poor contact between the sections.  Easily cured with a strand of wound copper wire.

4.) Zebralight H51 - Although not really a budget light, I'd have to say that if I had bought this one first, I may never have purchaced another type of light.  For me, it's the total package - Useful flood, good throw, and a killer UI all wrapped up in a very small unit.  This one gets daily use in an industrial setting and has performed with aplomb. 

5.) Shiningbeam MG P-Rocket XP-G R5.  I couldn't really find many reviews on this one, since it's just been released.  It drives the XP-G at 1.4A and is currently my brightest light.  It's not pure flood, and not pure throw, but a good combination of both.  This is the one I'd like to post a full review on here so other members have some info to go off of.  

6.) Uniqufire AA-S1 (DX sku 24220).  This is the only light to date that has been a complete disappointment. After reading all the rave reviews both here and "other" sites, I thought I would be in for a treat.  Blah!  I believe it was Don who made a reference to "sickly glow worms"...which is very apropos here.  Build quality is non-existent, Brightness (even on 14450's) is about on par with our last president, and the tint reminds me of my old lava lamp. Short of swapping out the emitter and driver, I've done the usual de-ox to ensure good continuity and tried a plethora of different batteries.  I probably just got a dud ( it happens...).

  From this small cross section sample, I think I could be content with a couple more Zebras (sc51, sc60), and about a dozen more Ultrafire C3's Smile  I'm open to other suggestions of lights to try out.  So far, it's been enlightening enjoyable.

Don
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Welcome Match!

 

Good to have you here.

 

The Ultrafire U20 really screams on a 14500, I think you'd like that one.

 

Any Zebralight,  but they aren't all that cheap. But they are very, very good.

 

For a thrower, there is the MRV - now around $20 or put an entry in the giveaway which ends tomorrow night. Can't beat the price!

 

I like smaller stainless steel lights, the bigger ones get too heavy.

 

The Trustfire F22 is really nice, so is the Aurora SH-034

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Match
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Thanks for the welcome Don.

 

I have a handful of flood-to-throw lights on order (currently sitting in Hong Kong purgatory) that I'm eager to try out.  The good thing is, I have really low expectations from them, so I may be pleasantly surprised. (x2000, C78, C30...)

The ultrafire U20 looks interesting.  Looks like Manafont is the place to get one...

phlowcus
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Match wrote:

The good thing is, I have really low expectations from them, so I may be pleasantly surprised.

Oxy Moron, where are you when you're cryed for? Wink

 

Welcome Match!

how2
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Welcome  Match Is your surname Stick LOL

Oxy Moron
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phlowcus wrote:

Match wrote:

The good thing is, I have really low expectations from them, so I may be pleasantly surprised.

Oxy Moron, where are you when you're cryed for? ;)

 

Reporting for duty, Sir. Wink Smile

 

First of all, welcome from me as well, Match! It's good to have you here. Unless things have changed, I'd bet good money that you will be pleasantly surprised by the C78. The trick to keeping your C78 happy though is to give it plenty of exercise, fresh air and to feed it what it needs (ie. a freshly charged 14500 ;)). It's only rated for AA but I have more C78s than I care to admit and they all work fine, even though they run on 14500s 99% of the time. I usually inspect and lube all new lights (I guess that's a fancy way to say that I like to play with my new toys) and before I reassemble them, I am in the habit of using aluminum foil to improve the heatsinking. Copper tape and tinplate steel (think coke can) also work well in my experience. I don't bother with thermal compound like some people do. It's just too messy for my tastes. Anyway, the C78 will definitely benefit from some improved heatsinking. Having said that, I have a couple of C78s that have worked fine out of the box on nothing but 14500s with no modifications whatsoever. They do get hot but so far, no angry blue LEDs.

 

As for the X2000, it's a bit like playing the lottery. I have some that are excellent, while others are far less impressive. This is rather anecdotal and I really don't have a large enough dataset to say for sure but it seems like the 18650 configuration might be a better choice than 3*AA. Side-by-side, some C78s (on a 14500) will even outperform unmodified X2000s in flood mode, despite the much smaller lens. Throw is usually comparable, with a slight edge to the C78. The only problem I noticed is the switch. My wife used to carry a C78 in her purse but found that with all her stuff in there, it would often accidentally turn on.

 

As for the AA-S1, sorry you got a dud. Unfortunately, that's all part of the game. I own a Skyray S-A1 that I bought from DX in January and that one is pretty good. Not amazing but definitely above average. So I figured I'd order another one when DX had them on sale for $9 a couple of months back. Based on my experience with the second S-A1, I'd conclude that they're all crap because that one is actually inferior in just about any way imaginable and even after messing with for longer than I should have, it still performs nowhere near the S-A1 from the very first batch. Luck of the draw, really.

ezeqdb
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Everyone who has a zebralight, says that this one is his most used flashlight.. some day i will have to get one..

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

Don
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ezeqdb wrote:

Everyone who has a zebralight, says that this one is his most used flashlight.. some day i will have to get one..

 

I prefer to stay away from CPF type hype, but the H50 really is that good.

 

Whether it is "worth" the price compared to other lights has to be a personal judgement. They definitely (to me) are worth the extra over the Ultrafire equivalents which aren't that cheap as far as I'm concerned.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Match
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Don wrote:

I prefer to stay away from CPF type hype, but the H50 really is that good.

 

Don,

  Ditto on the CPF hype.  Actually, I chose it based on beamshots from fonarik.com and other various sites...including praise from you Smile

 

how2 wrote:

Welcome  Match Is your surname Stick LOL

  Thanks for the welcome, How2.  Actually it's an old handle I had from the service (shorter version of hpbtmatch...)

 

Oxy Moron,

  Thank you for the heads up and the good info.  I'm really looking forward to playing with the C78.  Like you, I can't leave well enough alone and the first thing I did with all of my new lights was to take them apart for a quick clean and inspect.  I also got a chance to use some of the Dow Corning High Vacuum Grease on the o-rings.  This is amazing stuff and its intended use is on 34.5kv switchgear.  It's highly viscous (think vasoline in January), resistant to most chemicals, and maintains consistency down to -20F.  Perfect for making inexpensive lights highly waterproof Smile  I do have a few 14450's charged and ready, since the stinking aa-s1 doesn't seem to benefit from them.  So, they look forward to the C78, smallsun CY-Z85, and Romisen RC-G2.  

  When you mentioned tinfoil and copper for added heatsinking, where were you placing it?  I assume you disassembled the pill and placed it around the emitter for better contact to the head/body?

I'm not too frazzled on the AA-S1....it'll give me a chance to practice modding lights.

 

ezeqdb wrote:

Everyone who has a zebralight, says that this one is his most used flashlight.. some day i will have to get one..

I've purposely avoided most of the higher end lights because other than potential build quality I couldn't really see the benefit of spending 5x more on a light that performs the same as some others. (the Tiablo A9 that I picked up is another story).  That being said, I had a need for a quality headlight for work that would perform day in and day out.  I currently work for Nucor (steel mill).  The conditions I have to go in for diagnostics on various pieces of equipment was tearing up the streamlight, Princeton Tec, and Petzl headlamps that I've tried before.  I won't say it's the end all until it survives at least 6 months here, which will beat the current record held by the streamlight.  The other thing that attracted it to me is the lightweight build and the UI.  Special note on the UI - If Zebralight ever starts selling their drivers as separate items, I'd buy a dozen and upgrade every other light I have to them (It's that nice..).

If the H51 proves its mettle,  I think I see a sc51 and/or sc60 in my future.

 

Thanks for all the welcomes, Folks...

 

-Match

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Hey there Match, welcome to BLF!  I must warn you that membership on this site often leads to a flashlight collection that spirals out of control... But enjoy it!  Party

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

fishinfool
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Aloha and welcome to BLF Match!

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

SPAMBOT
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Welcome to BLF Match! : )

Now with 100% all natural asbestos!

Match
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Thanks again for the warm welcome, folks