Buying the real thing

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fields
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Buying the real thing

Hi All,

Thanks for the great forum,

This is my first post so a little about my flashlight quest (torch here in Australia)

I always thought I had decent lights compared to everyone else I knew, I’ve had an AA mini mag for 20 years, solitaire, 1×3D mag converted to LED with drop in and 3×4D maglites that came with LED drop in. Last year bought the XL100 as a gift for someone and was very impressed with it.

I recently became interested in finding decent bike lights, they generally seemed overpriced for what they are and that led me to the idea of finding a bike mount for an XL200 or similar and if that would even work. Or an LED update for my AA Mini mag. That has led me down the rabbit hole looking at places for everything I can and learning so much about lumens, firearm mounts, crenelated bezels, XM-L CREE, rechargers, batteries and a host of things inbetween.

I think I have decided on what I want to buy but a lot of my reading tells me there are knock offs of knock offs, fakes, imposters, good deals with mystery points and bad deals and I’m not sure what’s what in ordering from what appear to mainly hong kong sites that have reasonable shipping down under.

So; I thought I’d post what I’m thinking of buying and asking where I can buy them at a good price but be assured that what I’m getting is actually what I’ve decided on from the forum reviews, also any tips on getting the most ie DD points / coupons etc out of my order would be appreciated

Tank007 E09 v3 (Looking for a key chain light – what the solitaire was supposed to acheive) that can take both AAA and li-on

Romisen RC-29 or Sipik 68; Something for my pocket / bag to have with me all the time and potentially to mount on a helmet if needed, I like the look of the romisen better but like the idea of using AA if lion is flat or unavailable leads me sipik

Solarforce L2P or L2M – looking for a p60 host for handlebars with some flood, like the p’s looks and HAIII better but the M seems to be available cheaper

XM-L p60 Drop In – Not sure which to get like the look of the Manafont one to try something truly powerful

C8 variant – looking for another handle bar mounted light with some throw this time, not sure if need dropin, want something reasonably cheap but different

i4 Intellicharger v2 – unsure if this needs aussie plugs but like the idea of lion and nicad nimh all in one

Batteries for each – Was thinking the sanyo protected (marsfire) from buy in coins but read they may be dodgy

I was also thinking of getting the PBSF knockoff at DX and the twofish DX knockoff mounts

Well looking forward to your opinions

sintro
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Dealextreme was good when I ordered twice last year, got my stuff in 3 or 4 weeks. But apparently it now takes up to two months to get stuff. So if you can find another place for the twofish mounts that’d probably be best. I actually use my sipik on my bike once in a while. I have no mount, so my hand gets tired, but it’s fine for 15 minute rides in subdivisions and paved bike paths where I know the route and just use the light to look for sticks and so cars see me. I actually find I use the sipik the most just because it’s so small and has a pocket clip.

fields
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Thanks for the feedback, 2 months is rather a long wait, may have to brave ebay for those items

sintro
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Customer service is actually better on reputable ebay sellers than alot of those chinese sites, due to the fact that their reputation is stated to everyone.

fields
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I have a long history with buying things on ebay (500+ items) and have not had that many problems and normally have got a refund with dodgy chinese stuff – I had just assumed to stay away from ebay as there are similar posts about unknown clones and knock off batteries and they seem slightly more expensive than other sites mentinoed; if they are more reliable and faster however then I’ll give it another look – any reliable sellers for the things i’m looking for?

sintro
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Tell you the truth, I really don’t know any reputable sellers, but for things like the sipik, there’s a guide to tell if it’d real or not. And the clones tend to be just rebranded or better. I wish another person who bought more things from ebay would come here.

pretzy
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Hi fields, welcome mate.

Beware of any TrustFire/UltraFire battery cells. I have a few of the blue UltraFires I bought with lights when I first started, they are ok but inconsistent capacity. Not recommended in multi cell lights. But hey, when you get a charger and two cells for well under ten bucks with a torch who complains? Smile All the cheap chargers have actually worked ok. I keep an eye on them and remove the cells when the light goes green. Voltages have all been spot on.

Still, I could have saved by waiting and buying better quality cells and charger, which I ended up doing anyway.

The orange Keygos 26650 4800mAh are ok, I have 8 or so. Probably not the rated capacity, but they are much,much better than the blue UltraFire 18650’s. All bought from Keygos or one of the other three sellers listed below. I have quite a few Keygos branded lights from these guys and all have been good quality, no complaints so far.

I can recommend the Keygos KE-5 and M10 for bike lights. The M10 takes 26650 cells and will give better runtime. Both are nice quality and very bright lights for the size.

There are many reputable ebay sellers. I always try to buy from the ones with a lot of feedback and greater than 99% positive. Not gone wrong so far. I had one light fail after a week, and the seller refunded my money and let me keep the light, no problems. (that was hit time_hk BIC)

I can recommend ebay sellers Keygos = Cyberport888 = redlog = go_market (these are all the same merchant) lifebike (some clones) topofking = vikicompany = (UltraOK), antiquechina2009 (TomTop), hittime_hk (Buy In Coins) for torches

I’m about to order some protected Sanyo 18650’s from BIC. I have not heard of fake Sanyos yet, and am confident BIC will refund if there is a problem.

digital_freaks have some nice knives.

Delivery times have been 2-3 weeks on average, with a couple of things going past 4. Always got what I ordered.

I have also bought from T-Mart, Dino Direct, Light Malls, maybe a couple of others with no problems. YMMV, other have had some problems but being a member here should help sort out any issues. Most of those dealers have agents here.

Good luck, enjoy your new hobby, and most of all, have fun! Smile

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

pretzy
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By the way, don’t be overly worried about clones, I have bought quite a few on purpose, and they generally have been very decent lights, with some minor differences from the originals but way cheaper. Battery cells, and maybe chargers, are different matter. Yes, there are clone chargers around too.

Generally though, it’s worth the extra for original quality lights. I don’t mind at all paying extra for good quality. Both have their place.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

ruffles
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http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11849

I found myself mostly nodding in agreement all the way down.

With respect to batteries, there was a thread recently about BIC batteries being crap. I’ve bought from AW, Xtar directly and hkequipment.net. I have tried to stick with name brands in the hope that I don’t get done like this: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/2619 (see post #39 especially for a laugh/cry).

If you’re riding off road, you might consider a helmet-mounted light. The folks over in the MTBR.com diy lights forum are super helpful.

Welcome to the nuthouse!


 

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Hi and welcome from QLD

Pretzy’s on the ball.

Batteries from an Aussie seller on ebay – I’ve bought a bunch of protected 3100mAh 18650s and a charger from this guy : http://stores.ebay.com.au/supersports600 – quick delivery and appears to be an excellent quality product. ( better than my xxxxfire cells ).

Also got a good Ultrafire C8 from this guy : http://stores.ebay.com.au/365BID
but the int-outdoor.com sourced XinTD V3 C8 with C3 emitter is way better because of the tint, and as good as they get imho. (without modding) Reasonable delivery time from memory.

I’ve also bought stuff from manafont and have had no problems, and even the ebay HK C8 clones with XM-Ls are OK for around $10-$15. Just make sure there’s a picture of the LED in the listing and the store doesn’t sell mostly crap. I got a Q5 instead of a T6 once.
They’re easy to distinguish – the XM-L T6 has two metal corners : http://budgetlightforum.com/node/1849

Anyway have fun and watch your wallet !

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rexdog
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Suncoaster wrote:

Batteries from an Aussie seller on ebay – I’ve bought a bunch of protected 3100mAh 18650s and a charger from this guy : http://stores.ebay.com.au/supersports600 – quick delivery and appears to be an excellent quality product. ( better than my xxxxfire cells ).

Thanks for the heads-up Suncoaster. I’m in need of batts and this seems a good bet, as I’m in Brisbane.

Fields, I’m about to get a couple of UF2100’s to try on the bike. Have been using 2 Ultrafire C3’s with 14500 batts on the road bike for a couple of years. Bit of foam and an o-ring to clamp on bars.
Now I want something brighter for the cagers of Brisbane and the 2100’s aren’t much bigger than the C3’s

fireball

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rexdog wrote:
Suncoaster wrote:

Batteries from an Aussie seller on ebay – I’ve bought a bunch of protected 3100mAh 18650s and a charger from this guy : http://stores.ebay.com.au/supersports600 – quick delivery and appears to be an excellent quality product. ( better than my xxxxfire cells ).

Thanks for the heads-up Suncoaster. I’m in need of batts and this seems a good bet, as I’m in Brisbane.

Fields, I’m about to get a couple of UF2100’s to try on the bike. Have been using 2 Ultrafire C3’s with 14500 batts on the road bike for a couple of years. Bit of foam and an o-ring to clamp on bars.
Now I want something brighter for the cagers of Brisbane and the 2100’s aren’t much bigger than the C3’s

UF2100 is a well made light ! I would have Erik also known as E1320 put 2 new pills E-Tomic 7135 3.5 amp and you will have around 1800 lumens in front of your bike !

edc
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If you are after a cheap P60 drop in try ali express. You can get xml U2 1a 3 mode drop ins for $10- $11. H M Slow strobe. They draw over 3A on high.

 

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fields
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Wow,

You go away for a few hours and there is a lot to read,

I’m in Brisbane everyone too, nice to know there are BLFers everywhere,

I ride a roadie, mostly on a trainer but are getting out more and more and for longer and longer and don’t like some roads with no light and also being less than visible to motorists

OK so the gist is that if it looks ok then go for it in terms of torches and then make sure I get what I paid for

I like the look of the international outdoors c8, that site previously would not open for me

Would you guys recommend buying as much from one store or from multiple?

What’s the best place to buy solar force from?

I did not know that E120 sent overseas, I guess I’ll have to PM Him

Does anyone have a link to the aliexpress drop in?

Batteries and chargers will be my next challenge, balancing budgets vs quality vs safety

Thanks for the advice everyone

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fields
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Cheers

rexdog
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Suncoaster wrote:
Hi and welcome from QLD but the int-outdoor.com sourced XinTD V3 C8 with C3 emitter is way better because of the tint, and as good as they get imho. (without modding) Reasonable delivery time from memory.

Suncoaster, Do you mean you like the T6 emitter tint more-so than the U2? These are the 2 options they give.

Has anyone else ordered from this seller?

fireball

Suncoaster
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Yes
The Neutral White 3C T6 gives a warmer tint, and gives a daylight or natural look to outdoors at night.
It’s very different from Cool White.

I’m not sure if it’s available in the U2 yet.
You apparently sacrifice a bit of output for the nicer tint though.

There are plenty of previous threads about the torch vendor and the tint, which are what persuaded me to buy one.
Torch:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/8564
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/10327
Tints:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/1146
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/12142
Vendor:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/5729

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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Do yourself a favor and buy the Jacob A60 from Deal Xtreme. The Small Sun C10 is another winner for the price. $15 for either of these lights shipped is hard to beat for the money for what you get.

And welcome.

fields
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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS wrote:
Do yourself a favor and buy the Jacob A60 from Deal Xtreme. The Small Sun C10 is another winner for the price. $15 for either of these lights shipped is hard to beat for the money for what you get.

And welcome.

What would you get these in place of?

BetweenRides
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Concerning the TwoFish (TwoFake) knockoffs: I bought some from DX (one and only order) and CN Quality Goods this Spring. Both work about as well as the original. DX took exactly 31 days. CNQG usually take about 3 weeks for regular mail. If you go for air/tracking and include some of these in a larger order, 10-12 days, but I'm in U.S.

DX - $2.39

CNQG - $1.50

CNQG has a sister site called fancyflashlights.com Mostly the same look and selection, prices are different with shipping included. Sometimes you can find a mis-match and get a great deal. FF seems to be better for single item purchases, CNQG better for multiple item purchases with the shipping spread around. Run by Ric-CN, a member here on BLF.

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Welcome Feilds,

I have a few Solarforce lights, the L2, L2m, L2i and L2p are all good, I really like the l2p for look and feel (quality) and wish I had bought that first and may not have bought the others and some other cheapies if spent the dollars in the first place.
http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FB&s=7&id...

For dropins, I make my own but I also have the manafont 3 mode XML which drives hard.
http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/ultrafire-cree-t6-3mode-memory-...

I have a number of zoomies, the sipik 68 (get the grey from manafont it does not scratch like the black) is a classic and should not be over looked and still impresses those at the pub after a few beavies
http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/sipik-sk68-floodtothrow-zooming...

I have the C8 from KD which you cannot go wrong with. This is also a great/easy light to mod with new drivers and emitters.
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S020144

For chargers, again I have a few. I am really impressed with the ML-102 charger as it uses USB and can charge from car/computer or walwort but only does lion. (I have another $2 cheapy usb for nimh)
http://www.intl-outdoor.com/ml102-usb-charger-for-18650-26650-battery-p-...

Batteries – The Sanyo Xtar 2600 are good and protected and I normally set my friends and family up with those, Most of my gear now has drivers that alert on low voltage so I am using unprotected Panasonics, there is not too much in it as far as performance goes but I want to know I am getting the most out of my setup.

edit : added links to products, no referrals.

fields
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Thanks all for more links and places to research

My Head’s spinning more than ever, I think i’ll put up my revised shopping list tomorrow and see what everyone thinks

Suncoaster
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Just a caveat on the batteries that I mentioned earlier in this thread ,
at 69mm, they’re longer than most other 18650s:

Compare:
65mm Ultrafire Blue “2400 mAh” claimed on wrapper. cough
64mm Ultrafire Red “3000 mAh” claimed on wrapper. LOL
68mm Ultrafire Black “4000 mAh” claimed on wrapper. ROTFL

Some say the extra length may cause problems with some lights,
but they work in all my C8 sized torches, my E1320 modded Ultrafire UF2100, an Ultrafire C303, and my Sipik SK73 lights.

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Ledsmoke
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Welcome to BLF fields

I hope you get what you want and have some fun in the proces. I know I do Wink (Most of the time anyways he he)

~ Ledsmoke ~

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sintro
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Here’s the Solarforce L2m straight from solarforce, it’s on sale for only $10.99! http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FB&s=2&id...

fields
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Hi All,

Thanks for your contributions yesterday,

I think I’ve decided on what I’m going to get and where in terms of flashlights, am not sure where to go with batteries and chargers though,

I’m looking at getting

$13.80 – Tank 007 E09 http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/tank007-e09-cree-r2-3mode-led-f...

$8.97 – Sipik http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/sipik-sk68-floodtothrow-zooming

$10.88 Ali Express Drop In OP http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/532584429-Cree-XML-U2-1A-1000-Lumen-3-7V-4-2V-3-Mode-LED-lamp-wholesalers.html

$18.99 + $2 Post – Solarforce L2P Reverse Clicky http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FB&s=7&id...

$3 – SMO P60 Reflector http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/265mm-aluminum-smooth-reflector...

$19.86 – KD C8 SMO http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S020144

Since most of these were mentioned above i’m hoping that everyone thinks that they are an ok purchase

Does anyone know if its worthwhile getting a SMO reflector in case I don’t like the OP one for the P60?

Also will the ultrafire remote switch fit the kd c8? http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/pressure-switch-for-ultrafire-c...

Assuming that all above is OK, i’m now looking at batteries,

I’m getting confused what will fit and not fit, I’ll need at least 1×10440 1×14500 2×18650

Now I’m not sure what batteries will fit and what won’t fit

I’m sure there are great but expensive batteries and i’m sure there are gambles the cheaper you go,

What I can’t work out is that if you go cheap and you don’t get the MAh that’s advertised will they still pull the appropriate current – but require replacing more frequently?

If I were to get this charger and batteries for example this is worth 1 panasonic cell, now I know it may not be as good but will it work as an introduction that I can upgrade from? http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Trustfire-TR-001-Charger-2x-UltraFire-3000-mA...

If I want at least the batteries above and charger what would you buy and what would you consider a reasonable price?

Thanks again everyone

BetweenRides
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fields:

I think your list looks pretty good. Suggestions on batteries, but I think you'll get some good Aussie suggestions that would trump mine, as I'm in the States:

Solarforce has a new 2600mAh 18650. I would recommend you get 4 so you have 1+ spare for each torch. You can combine this with your order and save on shipping. Alternatively, they offer a 2400mAh that will save a few $$$. These are both good quality cells, not fakes.

I do not agree with your selection of charger + cells off ebay. The cells are complete crap and no telling what's under the wrapper. I don't have that charger, so I can't comment on it, but while you're at the Solarforce site, check out their charger/battery combos. This is probably the best deal - Looks like the same charger from ebay rebadged to Solarforce + 4 2600mAh cells referenced above. Combining the SF charger with cells will be like getting the charger for an additional $7.50 (US).

This will get you started. I usually use eneloops for my AA and AAA needs. I do have a few 14500s, but those were bought domestically and I only use them in a couple of lights, so hopefully someone else can reco a good source for 10440/14500. Just be careful of buying batteries off ebay - too many fakes unless you get a vendor recommended by someone. If someone recommends based on the best price, it's usually too good to be true in my experience.

 

 

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I would go ahead and get an extra SMO reflector.  I did that when I bought my KD C8 (my first high-powered LED light).  Note you can always spray a clear coat spray paint to turn an SMO into an OP (not sure that you can go back though).

Batteries and charger - you've got a lot of options and a lot of people will recommend different ones.  That charger you linked seems pretty well regarded, but it charges at 500mA which I believe is too high to safely charge a 10440 or 14500 but fine for 18650's.  I was going to recommend an Xtar charger, but I see the WP2 II still charges at 500mA.  I'll let others chime in on chargers, but you definitely don't want to skimp on a cheap charger (although there are probably some "cheap" ones that are fine).  You may have a hard time getting a universal charger that works with tiny 10440's and larger 18650's well.  You may end up with a charger that takes a very long time to charge 18650's. The batteries with that charger are junk - stay away from ALL Ultrafire cells! 

For batteries - what do you want, the best?  Able to kick out the most amps?  Or do you want cheapest that are "good"?  The quality of a cell will affect how much current it will allow put out.  Cheap cells will not put out high currents (like Ultrafires).  The Trustfire Flames protected 2400mAh have always been one of the best "budget" buys (my first cells and mine do well).  The 3000mAh version (not actual capacity, tested around 2400mAh) are about the same quality or a little bit better.  I also have the Trustfire protected 14500's.  Solarforce cells are quite good too.  The best cells will be based on Panasonic or Sanyo cells.  Be aware that the higher end Panasonic cells have their capacity rated down to a lower voltage which you'll never operate a single cell flashlight on and therefore you're paying for capacity you won't likely get.  I think the Panasonic 3100mAh cell will give you right around 2600mAh to 3.0v.  For this reason a 2600mAh Sanyo cell might be a better buy.  Both Sanyo and Panasonic will give you the highest amps.  Hi-max cells from Ebay are a good budget buy too (this seller highly recommended).  Buy protected cells especially since you're just starting out and learning.  Oh, and get a decent multimeter to monitor them with.  Always buy from a reputable seller. 

Hope these ramblings help!  I have the Tank 007 E09 and love it as my EDC (AAA alkaline or NiMh only).  I also have a KD C8, a fake Solarforce L2 with the famous Manafont Ultrafire 3 mode XM-L (one of my favorite lights), and Manafont's Ultrafire SK68 clone

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

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BetweenRides
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Xtar WP2 II is fine for charging 14500 at .5 amp setting. Not good for 10440 as Garry mentioned, but I'm not sure if there are any good inexpensive chargers out there that handle that range.

EDIT: The Sysmax Intellicharge i4 v2 will handle all sizes of batteries you are looking to buy.

Garry's suggestions on TF Flames are good for budget batteries, as long as you buy from Manafont. Those have been tested. Buying from other sources is hit or miss - major sellers as well as many ebay sellers have been busted for selling fakes, including DinoDirect and DealExtreme. I have the Trustfire 3000mAh (Actual capacity ~ 2400), they are good cells, but at $11.70 a pair, virtually the same cost as the accurately claimed 2400mAh cells from Solarforce for $6 apiece. I believe in rewarding honesty. SF 2600mAh will cost you $7.38 apiece if you buy 4 at a time.

Hi-Max Garry recommended are another great cell. Garry, correct me if I'm wrong but I think the ebay vendor you linked to is U.S. based and won't ship Li-Ion to Australia with the new USPS restrictions. Seems like there is another HK based seller of Hi-Max cells BLFers have had good luck with.

Whatever you do, get quality cells, don't skimp on batteries to save few bucks.

Suncoaster
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Location: Where the girls are green and the grass is pretty.

BetweenRides and Garrybunk have made good suggestions about cells and charger.

Get good batteries.

-Ezarc posted about a good deal on Eneloop AAs at Dick Smith Sorry, the deal’s expired.

The KD C8 is good and will do until you can afford a XinTD V3 C8 !

"In the land of the blond the one eyed man is king."

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