UF-V4 came today. 8 days later, it's dead.

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Chidwack
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UF-V4 came today. 8 days later, it's dead.

I went to the Post Office today and was surprised to find a package form Manafont.  I order this UF-V4 on Jan. 30 and it was here today Feb. 6.  That's the fastest I have ever received a package from Hong Kong.  

The packaging was just a padded envelope with the light inside wrapped in 2 layers of bubble wrap.  There wasn't an invoice or any instructions in the package.  The light and package were in good shape with no signs of any damage.  

The surprising part other than the short time it took for this light to arrive was the quality of this light.  I have a Zebralight H51 and I'm shocked on the similarities between these two lights.  Makes me wonder if they don't share the same point of origin with the Sparks headlamp.  

I popped in a Energizer 2300mAh battery and hit the button.  It's not as bright as my Zebralight H51 on high mode which is rated at 200 lumens. Battery life confirmed this as the light burned about 1.5 hours before dimming noticeably where as I get about 50 minutes from the Zebralight.  It has as a larger hot spot than the H51.  Looks to be about the same brightness as the H51 when I'm using the secondary high mode which is rated at 100 lumens.  I like the beam of the UF-V4 better than the Zebralight.  It's not near as concentrated in the center.  

Other than the raised bumps on the rubber switch of the H51, the feel of both switches are about the same.  The UF-V4 only has 3 modes and no memory.  It would be better if it had a low mode instead of a strobe.  With the light turned on, when you press the button it switches through the modes High to low to strobe and back to high.  It's a little strange getting used to turning the light off as you need to hold the button down for about 1 second to turn it off.  

All in all, it looks to be an excellent little light, especially considering the quality to price ratio.  

Click to enlarge

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Edited by: Chidwack on 02/14/2012 - 10:55
Budgeteer
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You might like it a whole lot more if you place a 30-45 degree TIR optics instead of the original reflector and lens. Put a 20mm o-ring behind the tir (not in front). Perfect fit and and you have a pretty dandy floodlight for close up work.

Would have posted a pic but as soon a friend saw it (modded) i had to part with it. Another one is already on the way. This one is a keeper to me. A low instead of the strobe would make it almost perfect.

If i must... i would really have liked they managed to do a different design of the body. It is so unappealing and cheap looking compared to the aesthetically well copied head (Zebra? Spark?).

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yavi
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I agree with you, with a low mode it would be better than the strobe, but all in all I really like this light.

I prefer the beam pattern as is, as I also need some throw for fishing, but that is my personal taste.

Chidwack
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I'm also liking the beam like it is.  More flood than my Zebralight but still gives me better throw than my UF-H3 that is completely flood.  If I need just flood, I use the UF-H3.

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yavi
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And by the way, the form factor of this type of lights with the rubber strap, is the best solution for headlamps, much better than the hinged ones, with less adjustment, and not that long lasting system normally.

This one adjusts quite well the inclination and stays where you leave it, I thought with the clip it would not work that good.

2100
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Do not use 14500s with it, not in high mode and strobe.  I reckon 14500 in low mod is ok.  High mode is like 2.2A with a freshly charged TF Flames and even if it is at 3.3V unloaded, it still drew 1.8A.   Low mode is 0.2A.  That's way too much for the driver electronics/LED.

Alkalines/NiMH is ok.

trooplewis
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I got mine today from Manafont.

I like this light a lot. The UI is a little different than usual, as Chidwack said. You have to actually 'click' the rubber switch on the head to change through the three modes. When you want to shut it off, you have to 'click' AND keep it pressed for a full second for it to turn off.

Fit/finish of the body is great, no issues. Has really nice heat-sinking in the head, maybe the best I've seen, and the clip is fairly unobtrusive. Nice color on the anodizing as well. It looks a little top-heavy (unlike the Trustfire Z1), but it still tailstands nicely. I don't know if it has already been mentioned, but the beam is pretty neutral, much warmer than the white of the Z1.

Fun little light, with a lot of flood from a single Eneloop. Other than the Strobe mode, what is not to like?

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Chidwack
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Another thing that the light does.  You can set it on it's back with the beam pointing to the ceiling.  It just rests on the clip and the screws that hold the clip on and it works for ceiling bounce if you want.  

It's kinda weird how much throw the little light has.  With all the flood you wouldn't think it would have any throw but it does surprisingly well.

The light seems well made and has a good finish but I have to say, This thing is ugly.  It looks like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.  It's so ugly it almost makes it's way back to cute.

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Chicago X
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trooplewis wrote:
Fun little light, with a lot of flood from a single Eneloop. Other than the Strobe mode, what is not to like?

I love the look and 'feel' of the light, as it has a decidedly non-budget heft.

Imagine my surprise when examining the heatsink:

photo19-3.jpg

Please be careful using HI mode for any long duration.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets

trooplewis
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Here is a beamshot of the Uniquefire UF-V4 on High

The near-tree is 30 feet away, the far tree (white rag) is 60 feet away.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Chidwack
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Chicago, I don't know about the heat sink in mine but it barely got warm when I was testing the battery run time.  

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Chicago X
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Chidwack wrote:

Chicago, I don't know about the heat sink in mine but it barely got warm when I was testing the battery run time.  

That tells me right there that there's a poor thermal pathway from LED to body.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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trooplewis
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The heatsinking in the head is excellent, on AA's I don't see heat being a big issue. I don't think it is an issue on any single AA light unless you are using 14500's. I don't remember ever having anything fry on an AA light with Alkies or Eneloops.

Has anyone checked this light to see how waterproof it is?

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Chicago X
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Perhaps our definitions of excellent may differ.  My example came with the heatsink not affixed to the light in any fashion.

I use the word 'heatsink' loosely, as it is notably thinner than the MPCB to which it is affixed.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets

trooplewis
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How did you even get the thing apart? By heatsinking, I was referring to the numerous thin cooling fins in the head of the light.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Chicago X
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trooplewis wrote:
How did you even get the thing apart? By heatsinking, I was referring to the numerous thin cooling fins in the head of the light.

There's a set-screw behind the reflector that hits the battery tube.

Remove this, and everything else comes apart in a normal fashion.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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Huny74
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Thanks for the write-up, chidwack!

Has anyone tested the parasitic drain? Can you securely lock out the tailcap?

Chidwack
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You're welcome Huny74.  Yes you can lock out the tailcap.  I would recommend doing so if you are going to carry the light in a backpack or something like that as the button does click on quite easily.

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dimeotane
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Manafont says it has a low mode. What's the runtime on an Eneloop on low?

Looks like good value!

Chidwack
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I haven't checked the run time on the low mode.  I would think that it would last about 6-7 hours.

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dimeotane
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"place a 30-45 degree TIR optics instead of the original reflector and lens."

Any suggestions where to get something like that?

Also, does anyone think it can be modded to run longer than 7 hours? 

Chidwack
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I'm sorry to say that 8 days later, my UF-V4 is dead.  Well, maybe not completely dead but it looks like it only has about 20 lumens left.  It has been slowly getting dimmer each time I use it.  At first I thought it was just my eyes playing tricks on me.  After reading about some saying the light will work with 14500 and some saying it won't, I decided to put one in it and check it out last night.  I figured that the light was getting dim enough that if I killed it, it wouldn't be a big deal considering what I paid for it in the first place.  It was much brighter with the 14500.  I only tried it for a few minutes and turned it off.  This morning I put a AA NiMh back in and hardly any brightness at all.  I changed back to the 14500 and it turned on for a second and then went off.  Back to AA NiMh and still very dim.  

I'm going to order one from CNQ that says it will use 14500 batteries.  

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Hmm, so are you saying it was already dying ("It has been slowly getting dimmer each time I use it") on the AA and then you tried the 14500?  Or was it fine on AA until you tried the 14500?  Clarify please.

-Garry

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Chidwack
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Yes that is what I am saying.  It may be my fault.  Everything changed when I decided to take the light apart and have look under the reflector.  I have never modded a light and this was my first attempt at taking things apart.  I could be wrong but it seems that when I put the light back together the beam changed.  It seemed much more of a yellow color.  I thought I was just seeing things and didn't really remember what it had looked like before.  I played with the light for a few days and it just got gradually dimmer.  It was kind of like boiling a frog in a pot.  The frog doesn't know that you keep turning the heat up because you do so a little at a time.  Soon it's much hotter than when you began.  Same way with my light.  When I finally noticed that it was getting dimmer was when I shined the UF-V4 against the wall next to my Zebralight H51.  When I first got the UF-V4 I noticed the H51 on the High Low mode was about the same brightness.  Now there is no comparison.  

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Sorry to hear about that! (ordered one two days ago after reading this thread)

Has the tint shifted to brownish? Maybe it's an overheat issue because of the apparantly poor stock heatsinking from the LED to the body (referring to Chicago X's post #8)? If the current to the LED still is OK it maybe worth trying to swap the emitter and improve the thermal path.

Chidwack
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I checked that and the led isn't brown.

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Mine works as good as 1st day. AA only not compatible with 14500's.

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Ecig
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I use UF-V4 also as a nightlamp.
It seems yesterday Ileft it on and fall a sleep. It was on low.
14500 protected trustfire was inside (usually low-voltage protection, in my experience, doesnt work on any trustfire flames)

Now the batt is from 0 – 0,1 V when I measure it.

What to do with it??
MAybe the protection circuit kicked in after all, and need resetting?

Should I put it in some charger nevertheless? (wich one, WP2, MP1 or Nitecore maybe would be the best?)

Chicago X
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Ecig wrote:
…Now the batt is from 0 – 0,1 V when I measure it.

What to do with it??

With that reading, it appears that the protection may have ‘tripped.’

Try putting it in the charger for 30 seconds, and re-check the voltage.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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scaru
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If it really was discharged that far do not put that in the nitecore intellicharger. That means it would charge it as if it was a nimh battery. 

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I will put it in MP1

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