Unbranded (SkyRay 856) 2*26650 3*XM-L light

56 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Techjunkie
Techjunkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/21/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 163
Unbranded (SkyRay 856) 2*26650 3*XM-L light

Almost four weeks ago, I gambled on a light purchase that was too good to be true and today that bet came in. I’m very pleased. The light in question is the same one seen elsewhere branded as “SkyRay 856”. More on the light in a sec…

Here’s why I say that the purchase was a gamble… The AliExpress vendor had no reputation, and would not commit to the light being able to accept 26650 cells. The IM chat session I had with him before pulling the trigger did not instill much confidence in me either. The language barrier was daunting to say the least. I wanted to know if the light was the same as in his pictures and if I could get the same light without any branding on it. I recognized the light as the SkyRay 856, but with very unusual (unappealing to me) logos in his pics. The light was being offered for $33.80, shipped, with 2×18650 and a charger included. The price seemed too good to be true, even without the accessories. To me, this all added up to a risky purchase, but desire overcame prudence.

It took longer than AliExpress defaults to for the vendor to provide shipping information. In fact, the clock ran out, but instead of acting, I waited very patiently and didn’t opt to cancel the transaction. I’m happy to report that after the vendor finally provided tracking info, he reached out to me, unsolicited several times to comment on the package tracking status, which took a long time to acknowledge the tracking number.

I’m very happy to report that I received exactly the light that I wanted, logo-less, and in pristine cosmetic condition. To my surprise, the cells and charger that I volunteered that I did not need or want were included anyway, in equally as good condition.

There was one flaw that anyone with a DMM and a 30W or hotter soldering iron would consider to be extremely minor – the driver’s connection to ground was non-existent, despite obvious solder joints (see pics below). Testing with DMM leads revealed that something was electrically insulating the brass collar from the solder. This was quickly remedied by applying some flux to the brass collar that surrounds the driver and touching a tinned iron to it to get some instant heat & adhesion of the solder to the well-sinked brass. I made my own connections this way and re-wet the OEM connections and had the repair made in just a few minutes. Obviously, to someone without the tools or know-how, the quality control oversight amounts to a DOA light, so everything is relative.

On to the light…

All this for $34 shipped
Photobucket

Excellent machine work, no anodizing defects, and no xxxxFire logos
Photobucket

Bottom of driver board. Pos. contact spring was included. Had to correct those solder joints from driver- to brass and/or add my own.
Photobucket

Tailcap. Unassembled and reassmbled and felt that it was easier on the thumb afterward. Might have just needed tightening up.
Photobucket

Top of driver exposed from beneath the light engine. Brass collar that surrounds it appears to be press fit, but I’m not sure – didn’t attempt removal.
Photobucket

The heatsink base on which the LEDs and tri-flector are mounted threads into the head.
Photobucket

When the heatsink is fully tightened into the head, the triflector lip makes flush contact. Also notice the beefy GITD o-ring behind the glass.
Photobucket

Besides the battery config, the other thing that drew me to this light were the wider bezel diameter and larger than usual tri-flector cups, which provide tighter focus for the XML. The fact that those XML are perfectly centered, unlike my FandyFire 3900 triple XML is much appreciated.
Photobucket

Here it is side by side with a smaller 2x*18650 FandyFire 3900 triple XML light, both standing on their heads
Photobucket

And the same two laying down…
Photobucket

Finally, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two lights faces. This light is the larger of the two.
Photobucket


Comparing the white-wall beam output of the two triple XML lights pictured above side-by-side revealed the improvements brought by this light’s larger triflector diameter and better centering. I was surprised to discover upon taking tailcap measurements that this light has either a much less aggressive driver, or a much more efficient one. Using the same A123 LiFePO4 18650 cells to test (open voltage 3.33V, less under load), the FandyFire pulled 3.0A at the tail, whereas this light only pulled 2.0A. Using eMoli IMR26650 cells, this light only drew 1.6A on high. Part of me wants to see what this light can really do if driven harder, but the more sensible part is telling that other part to leave it alone – it’s very well balanced for power consumption, heat, and runtime (2 hours on high). As it is, the intensity of the spot on high is equal to that of the custom 3xSST-50 in DX SMO triflector Mag-mod that I grabbed from my shelf to compare it to. (Current on the SST50 wasn’t measured, but should be 4.2A if the cells were full.)

This is, in my mind, a buyer beware situation that ended in my favor.

Oh, those unprotected blue-shrink UltraFire cells with the ridiculous 4900mAH rating printed on the side remain untested, as does the charger. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t even expecting them.

Techjunkie
Techjunkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/21/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 163

I forgot to mention the link I purchased from, as I’m sure ppl will ask…

http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/107116677.html

kramer5150
kramer5150's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 05/19/2010 - 13:43
Posts: 2331
Location: Palo Alto CA

Congrats on the score!! I have had this one sitting in my cart for 4-5 weeks, but I pulled the trigger on the slightly more $$$ J12.
Sounds very similar to the skyray-856, which is also a bit under-driven.

Really nice looking light and a solid value with those accessories too.
Thanks for posting this.

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

TJ,
Nice find and congrats on the good luck. I really like that torch and the side-by-side with the FF 3900 is a nice comparison of size relative to each other. I will say that is one heck of a deal. Just the XML’s alone would cost pretty much what you got for the purchase. I agree, the extra 18650’s and charger were probably not necessary, but what the heck, it’s nice to have a few spare cells lying around.

I’ve been keeping an eye on that torch for some time now. It’s got what I figured (and you confirmed) to be good heating sinking due to the large head. I assume this light can run w/ 2 × 26650’s, correct? It’s not mentioned in the specs, but it clearly has enough diameter in the body tube. I think I may just have to pull the trigger on this one. How long did it actually take from order till delivery?

Thanks for sharing!!

My lights here and here

 

BanglaBob
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 days ago
Joined: 10/11/2010 - 23:09
Posts: 936
Location: The Little Red Dot

Hi there, TJ Smile I’ve had my eye on the Skyray 856 for some time now, but just couldn’t commit (having no reviews to go by). Just like you, for $33.80 I’m willing to give it a shot Wink
Wish me luck ! (I just ordered one 0:) )

Lights out! That's when things get interesting...

DarkSide
DarkSide's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 weeks ago
Joined: 06/04/2012 - 01:50
Posts: 792
Location: NYC

tj – Good to see here. Doing good work.

 


viktori
viktori's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 12/25/2011 - 02:41
Posts: 713
Location: Croatia

That looks like a really sweet deal, nice!

This is my flashlight collection.

Techjunkie
Techjunkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/21/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 163

Just took it for a spin out in the yard…

I don’t have any beamshots to share (not yet, at least), but I will say that the light doesn’t disappoint, and it definitely has a worthy place in my collection.

I don’t want it to sound like I’m making exceptions for this light just because of its cost, so I need to qualify that statement. My collection mainly favors throw over flood. Until recently, for a floody light to stay in my collection, it had to have huge wow-factor. With the exception of this and the FF 3900, the only floody lights that I do have in my collection are home-built, multi-emitter, super lights. They are hot-rods that either have squat for runtime on high, or are much larger and heavier than this and still don’t have nearly the same runtime on high. In other words, prior to the additions of this and the FF 3900, my only flooders were enthusiast-elite lights, completely impractical to all non-flashaholics, and probably to most flashaholics as well.
In fact, the closest thing I had to a light in the flood category that even pretended to strike a balance between size output and runtime, was the impractically expensive to build and feed, triple SST-50, 3*AWIMR26500, 2D Mag-mod that I mentioned earlier. The cells in that light alone cost more than this whole bundle, and still only provide maximum regulated output on high for less than 30 minutes. It would not be fair to compare it to this light or the FF 3900 for any purpose (but I have anyway). In short, it would be difficult for the output of a budget flooder to impress me at all.

All that said, having just used all my flooders one-by-one in the yard, I’m left with the following impressions:

  • All my home-brew flooders are completely insane, but they make me smile. They are, in my mind, truly collector’s items.
  • The intensity of the center spot of this light and the FF 3900 compare favorably to that of my triple SST-50 homebrew, but the homebrew easily overpowers them with a larger spot and flood that has more intensity and volume
  • The introduction of the FF 3900 to my flood collection, cost-aside, made that triple SST-50 light which was formerly my most practically balanced flooder, seem completely impractical, when considering size, weight, output and runtime.
  • Compared to the FF 3900 which weighs in at 475g with LiFe cells, this new 2*26650 3*XM-L light which weighs in at a comparable 555g with IMR26650 cells, provides a spot that is equal in size and intensity to that of the FF 3900 and flood that is slightly less powerful, but at 2/3 the current draw of the FF 3900.
  • Factoring in the comparable size and weight, the comparable output, and the vastly greater runtime provided by larger cell capacity and lower current draw, this light makes the FF 3900 seem impractical. Oh, I almost forgot, it’s cosmetically better and it cost less too.

If you’re looking for the most powerful flooder out there and can afford a triple digit price tag, then you can dismiss this light. If budget flooders are your thing, odds are you don’t already have one like this. If you’re in the market for a budget flooder that checks all the boxes, then this is the one to get.

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Very cool!   Good for you.

 

 

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

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

TJ,

Nice write up and thank you for the details of how this torch stacks up to your insane home brewed mega torches. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m sure beamshots would have told the whole story alone, but you did and excellent job describing how it compares to your collection, both in total output, throw, and shear practicality.

I scrolled through most of what Ali express is currently offering, and this light seems to be one of the best (if not THE best) deals in terms of bang for the buck. I’ve been holding out for a triple XML torch with pleasing design, good heat sinking, 26650 powered, and budget priced. This one satisfies all of those.

My lights here and here

 

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

Went to order this light and they are now charging $6.32 shipping! Total is $40.12, which is still good, but it kills me that I didn’t jump on this right away.

My lights here and here

 

Techjunkie
Techjunkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/21/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 163

Hill wrote:
TJ,

Nice write up and thank you for the details of how this torch stacks up to your insane home brewed mega torches. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m sure beamshots would have told the whole story alone, but you did and excellent job describing how it compares to your collection, both in total output, throw, and shear practicality.

I scrolled through most of what Ali express is currently offering, and this light seems to be one of the best (if not THE best) deals in terms of bang for the buck. I’ve been holding out for a triple XML torch with pleasing design, good heat sinking, 26650 powered, and budget priced. This one satisfies all of those.

Yeah… I hadn’t played with my homemade flooders in a while and after having done that, I got kinda carried away writing about them. The crux of what I meant to say was comparing those to the FandyFire 3900 made their designs seem completely impractical and then only a month or two later, comparing this light to the FF3900 made the FF3900 seem completely impractical.

Sorry to hear about the shipping charge. I guess now that the seller is on his way (with a whopping four sold) we’ll see an up-tick in pricing. Still an awesome deal though.

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

Yes, it still is a great price even with shipping since it lists at DX for $50.

It just kills me that I could have saved $6 had I ordered sooner. That’s like 2 gallons of gas!!

EDIT: Just place the order. Now the long wait…

Hill

My lights here and here

 

Techjunkie
Techjunkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/21/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 163

I mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating. If you prefer an unbranded light like mine, you have to ask for “no logo” in the special instructions/comments section, or you’ll get one like in the pictures. The UniqueFire logo isn’t so bad, but in the pics, it was way too large and ran off the flat part meant for that sort of thing. I also thought the “caution extremely hot” looked silly on the bezel, but that’s just me.

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

Thanks, did not realize that. I already order, but will send them a message.

My lights here and here

 

dorpmuller
dorpmuller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 10/20/2010 - 18:29
Posts: 1054
Location: Central Pa., U.S.A.

You sold me… just ordered one… I’ll probably forget by the time it gets here…

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

KumaBear
KumaBear's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: 11/07/2011 - 05:23
Posts: 342
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Hi Folks,
This light looks (and sounds) very good to me. It’s too bad that they added the shipping cost. Anyway, the sellers are very, very small and one of the two links takes you to one of their two sites where they say they’re open to quantity buys and drop-shipping. By the way, the price they list for only 10 lights nets you down (including the newly added shipping cost) to slightly less than the $33.80 that the first few buyers were able to “steal” this light for. Anyway, I’m hoping to find at least 5, maybe 10 or more people who would like to take a chance on this beautiful light. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Regards, KumaBear

P.S. The batteries and charger are also included. The blue batteries are questionable (although similar ones have worked our well as spares for me) and the charger does look exactly like a couple I’ve received in packages – both of which are spot-on in charging voltage – so the charger may be good for a gift, or whatever.

KumaBear

Sigster
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/10/2012 - 13:33
Posts: 72

Count me in

-S

Richie086
Richie086's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 08:43
Posts: 1660
Location: Long Island, New York

I spoke with Janny Wen and mentioned I wanted one of these but wasn’t happy about the sudden shipping charge. I got the impression she was going to give a better deal depending on how many I wanted. If a GB is going to get started, I’m in on it. As long as the retailer ships them individually to each person and not as one big lot to the forum organizer.

Richie

Ecig
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 10 months ago
Joined: 04/28/2012 - 22:37
Posts: 807
Location: Switzerland

I never bought anything from this website (although I would want to) because cheapest shipping for my country is EMS, so its pretty expensive…

cehowardGS
cehowardGS's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/25/2012 - 17:52
Posts: 476
Location: East Coast
Richie086 wrote:
I spoke with Janny Wen and mentioned I wanted one of these but wasn’t happy about the sudden shipping charge. I got the impression she was going to give a better deal depending on how many I wanted. If a GB is going to get started, I’m in on it. As long as the retailer ships them individually to each person and not as one big lot to the forum organizer.

I will be in on a GB at the $33 price shipped, or if they have done away with the shipping charge!

Most likely it has already been mentioned, but they don’t list 26650 in the ad. They do show the 18650 in an adapter. Why no mention of 26650?

Forgive me in advance for being slow!! Wink

70+, Old, Dirty and Fast..

Richie086
Richie086's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 08:43
Posts: 1660
Location: Long Island, New York

cehowardGS wrote:

I will be in on a GB at the $33 price shipped, or if they have done away with the shipping charge!

Most likely it has already been mentioned, but they don’t list 26650 in the ad. They do show the 18650 in an adapter. Why no mention of 26650?

Forgive me in advance for being slow!! Wink

I don’t know why they don’t mention it uses 2×26650’s, but I can tell you it does.

Richie

cehowardGS
cehowardGS's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/25/2012 - 17:52
Posts: 476
Location: East Coast

Richie086 wrote:
cehowardGS wrote:

I will be in on a GB at the $33 price shipped, or if they have done away with the shipping charge!

Most likely it has already been mentioned, but they don’t list 26650 in the ad. They do show the 18650 in an adapter. Why no mention of 26650?

Forgive me in advance for being slow!! Wink

I don’t know why they don’t mention it uses 2×26650’s, but I can tell you it does.

Thanks Richie, I will be watching to see if the GB goes through, and/or they take the price back to the $33 and free shipping..

70+, Old, Dirty and Fast..

dorpmuller
dorpmuller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 10/20/2010 - 18:29
Posts: 1054
Location: Central Pa., U.S.A.

Well, I got the song and dance that it was out of stock so I said F it and cancelled the order. I’ve had it with nonsense, just don’t have any patience.

Rich

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

dorpmuller wrote:
Well, I got the song and dance that it was out of stock so I said F it and cancelled the order. I’ve had it with nonsense, just don’t have any patience.

Rich

I order this on 6/9/12 and requested it have no label on it. I was informed (in broken English) that it would take longer to source. What “longer” means I have no idea. I got the impression from TJ that it took quite a while for his to arrive, but he never specified how long (TJ if you are reading, would you mind letting us know how long it took to arrive from ordering?).

Given the bargain price (even with shipping), I’m willing to be patient. Do I wish it would arrive sooner, of course. But I’ve got no control over this one. I’m accustomed to waiting 3-4 weeks for items to arrive from China.

My lights here and here

 

Richie086
Richie086's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 08:43
Posts: 1660
Location: Long Island, New York

When I look at Techjunkie’s photos, specifically photos #3 & #5, it’s now obvious why the one I purchased from CNQ didn’t work very long. On the version I have, the driver was simply snapped into place, whereas on Techjunkie’s flashlight, the driver is held in place by that brass ring.

On mine, when I’d install the batteries, the driver would get pushed up towards the base of the reflector and stop working.

Richie

Techjunkie
Techjunkie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/21/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 163

Hill wrote:
dorpmuller wrote:
Well, I got the song and dance that it was out of stock so I said F it and cancelled the order. I’ve had it with nonsense, just don’t have any patience.

Rich

I order this on 6/9/12 and requested it have no label on it. I was informed (in broken English) that it would take longer to source. What “longer” means I have no idea. I got the impression from TJ that it took quite a while for his to arrive, but he never specified how long (TJ if you are reading, would you mind letting us know how long it took to arrive from ordering?).

Given the bargain price (even with shipping), I’m willing to be patient. Do I wish it would arrive sooner, of course. But I’ve got no control over this one. I’m accustomed to waiting 3-4 weeks for items to arrive from China.

I ordered late in the evening on May 9 (well into May 10 in the seller’s timezone) and received it on the date of the original post, June 8. The tracking number was provided around May 17th, but wasn’t acknowledged by online tracking until May 25.

If I understand correctly, when you place an order on AliExpress, Janny Wen then sets out to obtain the light from the supplier (the seller does not keep stock). My request for no-logo might have added delay, I don’t know. The seller then ships the item and then only after you acknowledge receipt of it, does AliExpress release the funds to the seller. The seller is just as eager as you are, if not more so, for you to receive the item as quickly as possible.

Hill
Hill's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2011 - 07:42
Posts: 684
Location: Northeast USA

Techjunkie wrote:
Hill wrote:
dorpmuller wrote:
Well, I got the song and dance that it was out of stock so I said F it and cancelled the order. I’ve had it with nonsense, just don’t have any patience.

Rich

I order this on 6/9/12 and requested it have no label on it. I was informed (in broken English) that it would take longer to source. What “longer” means I have no idea. I got the impression from TJ that it took quite a while for his to arrive, but he never specified how long (TJ if you are reading, would you mind letting us know how long it took to arrive from ordering?).

Given the bargain price (even with shipping), I’m willing to be patient. Do I wish it would arrive sooner, of course. But I’ve got no control over this one. I’m accustomed to waiting 3-4 weeks for items to arrive from China.

I ordered late in the evening on May 9 (well into May 10 in the seller’s timezone) and received it on the date of the original post, June 8. The tracking number was provided around May 17th, but wasn’t acknowledged by online tracking until May 25.

If I understand correctly, when you place an order on AliExpress, Janny Wen then sets out to obtain the light from the supplier (the seller does not keep stock). My request for no-logo might have added delay, I don’t know. The seller then ships the item and then only after you acknowledge receipt of it, does AliExpress release the funds to the seller. The seller is just as eager as you are, if not more so, for you to receive the item as quickly as possible.

Thanks TJ!

A one month wait is certainly reasonable from these vendors. I was thinking it took on the order of 2+ months which would have been agonizing. Looking forward to getting this by early July.

My lights here and here

 

Richie086
Richie086's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 08:43
Posts: 1660
Location: Long Island, New York
dorpmuller wrote:
Well, I got the song and dance that it was out of stock so I said F it and cancelled the order. I’ve had it with nonsense, just don’t have any patience. Rich

She’s been emailing me the last couple of days. The only thing that doesn’t seem to be in stock is if it was to be ordered without branding on it. That version is special order only. But I get the impression ordering one branded is in stock.

Richie

Ledsmoke
Ledsmoke's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 08/08/2011 - 16:05
Posts: 1995
Location: Denmark

I belly laughed at the phrase you wrote about desire overcoming prudence. I can relate to that. It is the story of my life LOL Smile
And thank you for sharing this with us, great photos BTW, and a great writeup. TY

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

dorpmuller
dorpmuller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 10/20/2010 - 18:29
Posts: 1054
Location: Central Pa., U.S.A.
Richie086 wrote:
dorpmuller wrote:
Well, I got the song and dance that it was out of stock so I said F it and cancelled the order. I’ve had it with nonsense, just don’t have any patience. Rich

She’s been emailing me the last couple of days. The only thing that doesn’t seem to be in stock is if it was to be ordered without branding on it. That version is special order only. But I get the impression ordering one branded is in stock.

No, it was not. That’s why I canceled. I can understand the ship wait for overseas, but I don’t wanna hear out of stock. Don’t be advertising if you don’t have it.

Rich

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

Pages