Review: Uniquefire S10 6-mode from KD

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brted
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Review: Uniquefire S10 6-mode from KD

Uniquefire S10 6-mode (KaiDomain)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★☆☆☆

Uniquefire S10

 

Summary:

Battery: AA
Switch: Reverse clicky
Modes: 6
LED Type: Cree XR-E R2
Lens: glass
Tailstands: yes
Price Payed: $13.84
From: KaiDomain

 

Pros:

  • Good build quality

Cons:

  • Not nearly as bright as KD says
  • Can not use 14500 lithium ion batteries
  • Mode memory is funky
  • Jumps modes when bumped

 

Build Quality: ☆☆☆

Cosmetically, this is a good looking light. It seems to be a near clone of the Fenix LD10 (pre-clip version) except that it adds some fairly sharp crenelations on the bezel (could damage pockets). The silver exterior is a matte anodization with no blemishes and has a slightly green tint, which I like. The power button functions well. The two tail cap o-rings seem watertight (they actually make it a little difficult to get the tailcap on) and seemed to have been lubricated. There is a big o-ring for the head, but I'm not sure if it engages or not. I dunked the light in a jar of water for about 5 minutes (head down and head up) and it stayed lit with no apparent leakage after I took it all apart.

 

The LED appears to be a Cree XR-E as advertised. Has a very mild anti-roll shape near the head (won't stop much rolling, but it comes with a lanyard which helps). The pill was easy to remove by sticking a tiny phillips head screwdriver in one of the two holes and pushing to unscrew it out of place. I was also able to remove the tail switch the same way, though the boot and spring seemed to be lightly glued or sealed in place. The reflector is metal with orange peel texture and the lens is glass with an o-ring tucked into the rim of the head.

 

Uniquefire S10 parts

 

It can not be used with a 14500 lithium ion battery (more on that later). Slow strobe or what I'm calling Beacon is about 72 blinks per minute. There was a piece of glue or dirt on the LED dome so I had to unscrew the pill out of the head to get to it and clean the dome off. Now sometimes the light won't turn on with the first click and when it does it makes a high-pitched noise (sometimes not that noticeable, sometimes very noticeable) and the noise goes on and off with the light in the different flashy modes. When putting the light down to tailstand, it changed modes by itself, not because the switch protrudes a tiny bit, but any time you audibly knock the metal base (not hard), it changes modes.

 

Uniquefire S10 with Fenix L1D

 

The problem with the modes is the light always comes on in the next mode from the last time. With a sequence of High-Medium-Low-Strobe-Beacon-SOS, if it was in Low last time, it will come in Strobe next time. If it couldn't have memory, the next best thing would have been to come on in High every time. This type of memory is just one step above having the light come on in a random mode when you turn it on. So this by itself makes the light pretty useless. [Note: reviews on DX indicate that if you leave the light off for 25 seconds or longer, that the memory works. In playing around with it to test it out, I wasn't usually doing that, but it did seem to remember sometimes, so that is probably the case here.] The one thing I bought the light for was to outperform my Fenix in brightness and still allow lower modes to work. In an effort to get the advertised 250 lumens, I decided to risk killing an otherwise pretty lousy light by using a 14500 lithium ion cell, even though Kai says the light is meant for AA only. I inserted a 14500 lithium ion battery and, without so much as a flash, the light was dead. Ding dong dead (Well, not quite. I was able to convert it to direct drive and now it is a 1-mode light using a 14500, buzz-free and bright, maybe even the 220 lumens advertised at DX, but still not 250 lumens that KD claims). I should have taken some beam shots first, sorry.

 

Battery Life: ★★☆

Runtime on a 2000 mAh Rayovac NiMH AA cell was about an hour before the light was significantly dimmer. The light got warm during that time, but definitely not hot.

 

Light Output: ☆☆☆

The low is very nice, about 10 lumens (I don't have a light box or even light meter so I am eyeballing the lumens by comparing with what Fenix claims for the L1D). The beam tint is cool white, but not all that blue. The beam pattern is good with no rings with a fuzzy hotspot similar to the L1D and the Trustfire XP-E F23: some spill, balanced for decent throw. Maximum output is more like 120-140 lumens on a AA NiMH, nowhere close to the advertised 250 lumens, but similar to the Fenix L1D I have.

 

I took these pictures after I burned out the driver and converted it to direct drive, so this is much brighter than with AA's and the original driver. The stick is 25 feet away. The fencepost to the left of the stick is 120 feet away. The exposure time is 4 seconds. Here's a control shot:
Outdoor control shot


Direct driven with a fresh 14500 lithium ion battery (4.2 volts):
Outdoor on direct drive li-ion


For comparison, here is a Fenix L2D Q5 in turbo mode with 2 2000mAh Eneloop NiMH AA's:
Fenix L2D in Turbo mode

 

Summary: ☆☆☆

The biggest reason I bought it was to get something brighter than what I have already, which it is not. I was hoping to get some additional brightness using lithium-ion batteries and keep the modes, but the light from KD absolutely can not be use with li-ions. The cruel version of mode memory makes this thing useless to me since I usually only use a light in short bursts and if I want it in High most of the time, I don't want to have to flip through 5 modes to get back to that level every time I use the light. DealExtreme sells S10's advertising memory (only if the light is off for 25 seconds) and the ability to use lithium-ion batteries (according to Don's review at jayki.com the 1-mode at DX can definitely take 14500's, still not sure about their multi-mode version). The light's tendency to change modes by itself when it gets knocked isn't acceptable either.

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06
alfreddajero
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Awesome review.....thanks for the heads up on the brightness and the mode changing.  Have you thought about changing the driver out.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

sb56637
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Another excellent review going on the frontpage thanks to brted.  Great pictures and great attention to details!

 

I wonder if the KD version is different from the DX version?  I noticed that the KD version is several bucks cheaper than the DX version, which is a significant price difference in this price bracket.  Why are so many new lights coming out with those worthless crenelations?  As I believe Don said once, if I want to smash or bludgeon something I'm not going to do it with a flashlight.  If any Chinese flashlight engineers are reading this review, please leave them out in the future!  On the other hand I really do like the spring-loaded metal post on the inside of the tailcap, it looks and feels much more robust than a simple spring.  I have the SmallSun ZY-C41, which also has what appears to be an almost identical endcap.  I do hope that trend continues.  At any rate, you saved me a few bucks, I was sort of considering this light.  Thanks!

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sb56637
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Also see Don's brief take on this light: 

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/9

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brted
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alfreddajero wrote:

Awesome review.....thanks for the heads up on the brightness and the mode changing.  Have you thought about changing the driver out.

 

I was thinking real hard about it before I did my first mod by soldering the LED's leads directly to + and -. The problem is the board is 14mm diameter and most are 17mm or more. If there was a good driver with high, medium, low and mode memory, then this would be a pretty good light. And Don really liked the 1-mode which is about what mine is now. The only problem is I can't run it off of an AA, so it li-ion or nothing.

alfreddajero
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You might be able to grind one down if you can, to get the board to fit.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

sb56637
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I found with my Trustfire F20 that the unwanted mode changes from slight knocks or from being set down to tailstand practically disappeared after I tightened up the LED module into the head.  Do you think this could have been the problem?  For me, the mode-changing concern and the ugly crenelations are the two things that concern me most about this light.

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brted
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It could be. I blew it out before I could play around with it too much. It had to be some kind of loose connection where when it was bumped it would briefly cut power and go to the next mode. It certainly doesn't have any problems with that now. It would be easy to grind the crenallations off, but that might look even worse.

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The diameter isn't much more than a typical AA light, right?  I don't know why but something in all the pictures makes it look quite stocky.

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Don
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brted wrote:

It would be easy to grind the crenallations off, but that might look even worse.

 

Five minutes with a file. Didn't want to completely remove the teeth, just make them less silly.

 

It did take a lot of careful cleaning of the PC under the vice though...

 

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

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

Don
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sb56637 wrote:

The diameter isn't much more than a typical AA light, right?  I don't know why but something in all the pictures makes it look quite stocky.

 

My review here. http://www.jayki.com/6843 It is exactly the same size as the K106 now

 

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

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

alfreddajero
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Looks a lot better Don....would you be able to post a pic so we can see the side view of the light.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Don
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Here you go. This is with the teeth cut back as far as I wanted.

 

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

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

alfreddajero
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Did the beam pattern of the light improve or is there no difference at all.  Thanks for posting that up Don.yes

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Don
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Looked up some pre filing beamshots and the teeth didn't seem to affect the beam at all. I still need to clean up the filed edges - will be where there is a bench grinder and polisher tomorrow so will tidy up the job.

 

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

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

alfreddajero
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Cool thanks man.yes

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

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Looks a lot better now, thanks for the pictures Don.  Another option would be to round off the sharp edges of the teeth so at least it could be carried in a pocket.

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how2
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brted
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Hey, that's my backyard! At least they serving the images themselves instead of using my bandwidth. Thanks for letting me know. They actually have some pretty decent pictures. I wonder who else they stole them from?

I noticed that there were an awful lot of reviews posted and they sounded very generic. They are fake. I googled phrases from the reviews and found hits from reviews on Amazon and other lights at Dino. Sad that they have to resort to fraud to sell products.

how2
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Ted is Dinodirect a good company, do they sell fakes or anything like that?

how2
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They have Fenix lights are they real?

brted
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I wouldn't buy from a company I just can't trust, one that steals pictures and posts fake reviews.

Don
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how2 wrote:

They have Fenix lights are they real?

 

Given the previous - take your own bet....

 

Would you trust them?

 

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

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

sb56637
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What in the world? That's sleazy. I just updated their rating page.

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/182

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how2
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What a good deal on

Fenix PD20 $35?

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"This Half Price offer is valid from 25/11/2010 to 01/12/2010. Don't miss out the super offer. Hurry Up! Share the products which you like most with your facebook friends, get double DinoPoint !"

Awesome offer, no doubt. But the description is very inaccurate  Foot in mouth

 

For example: FENIX LD15 Cree XP-E R4 2-Mode LED AA Flashlight Torch

http://www.dinodirect.com/fenix-led-flashlight-cree-xp-e-r4-2mode-ld15.html

Look at the photos. It has XP-G.

 

Another one: TrustFire S-A2 Cree XP-G R5 3-Mode 200Lumens LED Flashlight(1 x 14500/AA)

http://www.dinodirect.com/led-flashlight-trustfire-s-a2-cree-xp-g-r5-3-m...

Look at the photos. It has XP-C!!!

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If they aren't what they are supposed to be ..Guess they have a fight on their hands ..I'll walk to china and grab that overgrown squirl and beat him like a rag doll..Evolution my behind ..So this is what happened to the dinosaurus.. he shipped the wrong item and  the cave men went postal on him , lit a fire under his butt and made jerky .

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

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brted wrote:

Hey, that's my backyard! At least they serving the images themselves instead of using my bandwidth. Thanks for letting me know. They actually have some pretty decent pictures. I wonder who else they stole them from?

I noticed that there were an awful lot of reviews posted and they sounded very generic. They are fake. I googled phrases from the reviews and found hits from reviews on Amazon and other lights at Dino. Sad that they have to resort to fraud to sell products.

Wny would you accuse someone of stealing ...Maybe they have a yard  that looks a lot like yours ..Maybe they were right behind you when you took that picture ..Maybe they are in a parallell universe to ours ..Maybe YOU are Dr,Dino. Or  Maybe you have another personality that you're sub-consciously blocking ..Or maybe you are a mole working for the other side and have just been exposed ..?? Hard questions ..

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

SashiX
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LOL Laughing Good argumentation, boaz Wink

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Brted, do you think you would have been able to put an aspheric lens in this light when you had the head open and get things back together (if you have a properly sized aspheric)?

If I did such a thing it would be with the single mode version and a 14500 and I don't know that I can find such a small aspheric but in theory do you think it would be possible to get one in there?

I'd grind the teeth off as well as per Don's method:) 

(By the way, this review form seems to be a standard one...in case no one noticed "Payed" is spelled wrong rather than "Paid". I've noticed it on all the reviews so this much be a form. Just thought I'd mention it if no one had noticed)