Does every Sofirn SP36 have a unique quirk?

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Does every Sofirn SP36 have a unique quirk?

This is getting very strange. I posted before about strange behavior with my SP36 Pro 6500K. I didn't want to keep replying to myself in that thread, but I was able to reproduce the issue once immediately after a factory reset. As in, the very first time I pushed the power button after a factory reset, the switch LEDs came on but the emitters stayed off. So I guess it was a weird defect, but like I said, it was very weird. I just can't imagine what type of hardware or manufacturing defect could cause that.

So I sent it back and got the SP36 BLF Anduril 5000K instead. I didn't have any weird usability issues with that one, but it just didn't seem very bright even on turbo. I would say it was comparable to the 3500-lumen Sofirn SP33 V3. I did all the thermal calibrations and all that. But here's the unique quirk: the brand name was written in lower case ("sofirn") on the light instead of capitalized ("Sofirn"). So that left me wondering if it was a counterfeit. I can't find any pictures of the SP36 BLF that have "sofirn" in lower case like that. It's not hurting anything, but it's a strange quirk that makes me wonder what's going on and if it's a genuine product.

Finally, Amazon tempted me with a great sale on the SP36 Pro 5000K which I figured would end up being what I had been looking for all along. It seems to be putting out the amount of light I expect and it doesn't exhibit the failure to light up that the first SP36 Pro did, but it still has a unique quirk: when ramping up the brightness, the switch LED starts dim (as expected, to indicate regulated drive), then changes to bright when the FET driver engages. But as the emitter brightness ramps up higher the switch LED brightness starts to reduce until it's back to "dim" mode at the top of the ramp. If I let it sit, the switch LED gradually gains brightness until it's bright after about 30 seconds or so. The strangest thing is that if I turn it off at top of ramp while the switch LED is still dim, when I turn it back on, the switch LED goes bright for about 1/10 of a second, then goes back to dim and starts gradually increasing in brightness. But if I let it get bright, then turn it off and back on, it's still bright. It's almost like it's indicating the temperature, but only at the top of ramp. Of course factory reset was the first thing I did when I got it.

The point of all this: is every SP36 uniquely quirky like the 3 I've seen? I'm not talking about differences between models. I mean each individual unit. Not one of the 3 has looked and acted the way I expected it to. Every one of them had something strange about it. Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

Edited by: TheFlashlightGuy on 09/09/2021 - 02:21
djozz's picture
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I have been puzzled several times what the switch leds do and do not do, in several lights, also Astrolux lights have that. Perhaps if I looked into what the exact behaviour is, it may make sense and it is meant to be like that, but I have not tried yet.

A reason why weird things happen may be that Sofirn used Android software in hardware that also enables onboard charging, either that in itself may cause things, or they tweeked the Anduril firmware. But I have no knowledge whatsoever on the interaction between software and hardware so this may well be nonsense Facepalm

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Just toyed around with my SP36 Pro (from Amazon a few months ago).  I can't get it to do any of the quirks you mention here or in the other thread.  Tried a very old higher resistance laptop pull Sanyo cell and no normally (generally running Sony VTC6).  Tried unsuccessfully to create an intermittent connection with a wiggly tailcap and loose head but couldn't make that happen.  My experience with Sofirn suggests that you may never reach a good technical explanation from them, just a kind offer for replacement or parts.  Maybe post this in the Anduril thread(s) or message TK if you haven't already? 

As for the capitalization, not positive but I would suspect that you got a brand new manufacture of the light.  As legend has it, "sofirn" is intended to be lowercase but at some point the Capital S took over and they may be returning to lowercase now.  All of my lights are capital, including the newest green C8F from aliexpress a few weeks ago, but it's likely that host was made awhile back.  I'll bet they could answer that one if you message them. 

Also...misaligned switch leds.  Normal...normal for most brands.  If you've ever removed/installed one of these type side switches that hasn't been glued in place, getting the leds to stay where you want them while tightening the trim ring is a real bear sometimes.  Some use "eared" boards where they fit into a recess to prevent twisting motion but even those can pop out and come off the mark when tightening, or if they use a cutout plastic overlay cap on top of the boot, sometimes that will shift around.  All of these are still installed by hand in the factories and it seems that even after somebody over there does it a thousand times they still can't always get them perfectly aligned.  It's just an aesthetic thing, though, of no consequence. 

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Sounds like the BLF is genuine and quite new. Without a meter I can’t say for sure if it’s as bright as it’s supposed to be but at least it sounds like it’s not a counterfeit. The seller of the SP36 Pro 5000K admitted that it was a resold return and offered a credit to make up for it. Maybe the weird switch LED behavior was why they returned it. No idea about the first SP36 Pro 6500K. But I’ve reviewed the Anduril source code and I’m satisfied it’s not a software issue. Just seems like very odd behavior to be caused by a hardware issue. I’ll probably never know but I guess I just had two strokes of bad luck with two different SP36 Pro lights. Both of them seem to have highly unusual defects in the driver that cause these quirks.

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But here’s the unique quirk: the brand name was written in lower case (“sofirn”) on the light instead of capitalized (“Sofirn”). So that left me wondering if it was a counterfeit. I can’t find any pictures of the SP36 BLF that have “sofirn” in lower case like that. It’s not hurting anything, but it’s a strange quirk that makes me wonder what’s going on and if it’s a genuine product.

I wouldn’t read anything into that.

The lower case thing seems to be a recent change that they’re applied to their newer models and recent production runs.

Beyond that, I’ve found that the labels can also be applied to different places, like on the SC31 Pro. The original black model had its label applied at the bottom of the head, adjacent to the body tube seam. The marketing pix (not renders) of the newer green/blue models also show it in the same place. But the ones shipped to customers have the label moved farther up, adjacent to the switch. Could be a conscious change, or not…

…because the SC31T, also a new model, same head piece, is the converse. Beauty pix show label adjacent to the switch, owner pix show it adjacent to the body tube.


Given the nature of Chinese marketing, and its sometimes tenuous relationship to reality, such things can’t really be considered a surprise.