Supfire A2. Supfire's cute little zoom 18650 side switch.

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Tom E
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Well it's an e-switch, so modes are hi-med-lo-strobe-sos, always starts on hi. No mode memory, 1st click from OFF goes to hi, them click-med, click-lo, click-strobe, click-sos, click-hi. To turn it OFF, press&hold. I took detailed pics, took output measurements, amp readings, etc. Got it fully dis-assembled - pretty quick, pretty easy (no glue, all std CCW to loosen)

On a fresh Samsung 30Q: 2.15A tail on hi (DMM meter, heavy wires)

  • For zoomed in (flood), lumens hi: 690 @start, 653 @30 secs, med: 350, lo: 139
  • Throw in full zoomed out focus: 11 kcd taken @5 meters
  • Body length: 126.8 mm -> 138.8 mm
  • Parasitic drain: 0.016 mA (very low, 7+ years to drain 1 Ah)
  • If I jumper the tail, and measure lumens: 731 @start (this means you probably get a 5%-6% bump if you bypass the tail spring)

It's almost there, but I'd have to say the modes are a great disappointment, but as advertised. Shame because doing modes better adds nothing to the manufacturing costs, only a bit more up front software dev, non recurring costs. Pics being uploaded...

dealgrabber2002
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Sorry, what are the lumen spacing? Can’t find it on the original post.

1dash1
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Thanks, Tom!

690Lm / 350Lm / 139Lm … I see what you mean by disappointing. 690/170/40 would’ve been better.

With no mode memory, I’m glad the flashlight always turns on in high.

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

Tom E
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Sorry, what are the lumen spacing? Can't find it on the original post.
In first bullet item above

1dash1 wrote:
Thanks, Tom! 690Lm / 350Lm / 139Lm ... I see what you mean by disappointing. 690/170/40 would've been better. With no mode memory, I'm glad the flashlight always turns on in high.

Well, it's everything - mode spacing, strobe and SOS not hidden, only one way nav thru modes, time delayed push&hold to turn OFF - could be faster, no way to get to lo to start with, etc.

Shown with a BLF A6:

Tail threads, not many, but nice:

Main assemblies:

Clean LED area, pretty darn clean resulting beam pattern:

Bottom of driver parts:

Top parts:

Not much thermal grease, but it's there:

Some not so good news, driver/pill parts:

Well, the LED driver and USB charging seem to be combined in one, and the nasty vertical board that the switch and USB port mount on does some serious blocking, preventing a typical driver sandwich mod.

But... There is 6.64 mm vertical clearance above the top edge of the vertical board to possibly fit a 17 mm driver there. Could use the new OSHPark slim boards perhaps to save some space. Now, not sure how to use the USB charging with a LED driver replacement, but might be possible. Could also jumper in wires to take over those nice look'n green and red LED's. They do look awesome lit up behind that translucent/white switch.

dealgrabber2002
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Photos not showing

Edit: photos is working now.

Tom E
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Hhmm, they are for me. It’s photobucket, I’ve been using for years. Wonder if it’s having some connectivity problems…

freeme
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I got the latest A8 version. It is very usable flashlight despite the mode spacing. Nothing beats this light at this price range imo.

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Tom E
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Where did you get the A8, and what is the A8? I think the A2 is the XM-L2 version, and the A5 is an XP-E version. Should have bought the A5 – cheaper and will be changing the LED anyway.

dealgrabber2002
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Isn’t the A5 non-zoom and no usb charging?

Tom E
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Ooops, A5 here: http://www.dhgate.com/store/product/2015-supfire-new-flashlight-a5-outdoor-3w/376183205.html

 

yes - non-zooming, with USB charging, and best guess at LED is XP-E

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Does it zoom out pretty good (no rings)? Are you planning on putting a different emitter in it?

Tom E
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There’s rings, but very minimal. I looked at it in flood, and little to none artifacts outside the zone. In zoomed out focused, there’s a circle around the square LED, but again looks very uniform, but expected without a full blackout of the head.

For now, think I’d try a simple amp boost (two R500’s shown) by adding a resistor, and replace the LED with either a de-domed XP-L V6, or maybe the XP-E2 Torch, or a de-domed XP-G2. Hoping for a good 30K+ – would be nice.

freeme
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A8 is 2016 summer model, rated "1100lm" XM-L2 (unknown bin) with new box package.

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Tom E
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freeme wrote:
A8 is 2016 summer model, rated "1100lm" XM-L2 (unknown bin) with new box package.

Well, an A8 is not on their website (http://www.supfireenglish.com/Products/led_flashlight/) - the A2, A3, and A5 are, so again, where did you get it? Where's anything describing it?

Don't mean to be a pain, but am interested in finding out more about it.

Weird, Gues here: http://www.yoycart.com/Product/525687374564/ and http://www.chinaglobalmall.com/products/525687374564

But not too helpful - don't see anything that changed, but a lot is left out or in Chinese.

freeme
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It looks more or less the same. They should have named it A2 (2016). I bought it from their official store in tmall.

Tom E wrote:

freeme wrote:
A8 is 2016 summer model, rated "1100lm" XM-L2 (unknown bin) with new box package.

Well, an A8 is not on their website (http://www.supfireenglish.com/Products/led_flashlight/) - the A2, A3, and A5 are, so again, where did you get it? Where's anything describing it?

Don't mean to be a pain, but am interested in finding out more about it.

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dealgrabber2002
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Tom E,

Please let us know what you did to it if you do decided to mod it.

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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Tom E,

Please let us know what you did to it if you do decided to mod it.


Nothing yet – hope to get to it soon. Might go with the new 219C 320 from Richard, or maybe the new XP-G3, de-domed. Want to push it for throw though.
dealgrabber2002
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The one thing that is really attractive about this light is that it’s able to be used while charging.

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> nice little zoomy’s out there for under $20?
Zeusray
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/34292

Tom E
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I'm a fan of the ZeusRay's, but this A2 light is no comparison. The ZeusRay, if you actually get one like advertised, is a good deal for $8, but the A2 is equally as good a deal, or better, for $18. Can't compare the two - like comparing a Sipik SK68 to a Convoy in quality, plus all the better features with the A2 (LVP, USB charging...).

The more I look at it, the more I'm impressed with it - I agree with freeme in that it competes with much higher cost brand name lights - $17.42 now, here: dhgate.com-supfire-a2

Also right now, outstanding deal for volume purchasing: $11.75 each for min qty of 20, free DHL shipping: dhgate.com-supfire-a2-volume purchase.

It's not perfect by any means. It's too long - they could have been smarter to get it down in length, plus the modes I mentioned - not a big fan of this type of UI. But I do like it's compact pocket size in width, like other tube lights but in a zoomie.

Hope I get some time this eve to mod mine up... Might throw in a XP-L HI for now.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom, can you confirm if it can be used while charging? I like that feature a lot

Tom E
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Tom, can you confirm if it can be used while charging? I like that feature a lot

It’s in pieces and at home right now… I can rig it up though to try it when I get home.
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Nice review and teardown.

Would it be possible to add some beamshots? In both flood and throw modes.

Thanks!

Tom E
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Tom E wrote:
dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Tom, can you confirm if it can be used while charging? I like that feature a lot
It's in pieces and at home right now... I can rig it up though to try it when I get home.

Ok - rigged it up on the bench and tried it. While on the charger, the RED LED in the switch blinks, and turning the main LED on works fine, and the RED LED still blinks. So it all appears to fully work while charging.

Firelight2 wrote:
Nice review and teardown.

Would it be possible to add some beamshots?  In both flood and throw modes.

Thanks!

Well, it's still all in pieces, but will be modding it first. Just from my own opinion, it's a pretty nice clean beam for a zoomie. Full flood is smaller than some, but kind of expected for the small lens. it focuses perfectly, showing the dot patterns of the XM-L2 surface, with a ring pattern immediately around the dye image, but again, looks smooth. You really need to black out everything under the lens and around the LED to get rid of everything.

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Thanks Tom.

Anyone know what’s the different between the 2015 and 2016?

Tom E
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Put in a XP-L HI V3 2B last night - it's from MtnE back when they had the V3's. Focus is a little out now, but expected. I compared the flood against a modded ZeusRay and actually the A2 is about as wide, but cleaner, more a perfect round. So it's actually quite wide - think the ZeusRay is at or near the widest flood I have.

Getting more amps now, about 2.60A - was hoping for more with a resistor mod (added an R300) and 28-> 24 AWG LED wires. Bypass added to the driver spring.

Lumens: 802 @start, 772 @30 secs, throw: 25.5 kcd taken at 5m (319 meters)

Realize now the circular pattern around the zoomed out dye image is from the white LED centering piece, outside of that, not much in artifacts.

I don't see any differences in 2015 vs 2016. Think the guy on DHGate even updated the listing to 2016. Looks like the factory lumens went up, but they are exaggerated anyway.

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Upgraded mine to XP-L HD on Noctigon, and 24AWG plus spring bypass when I received last week. Driver was left un-touch at the moment. Mod time is considerably longer, due to the glued wire and loose transparent button part that would interrupt the assembly. 

Despite for having lesser output and narrower zoom out flood when you compare it with Zuesray, this light has slight edge in built quality and useful functions (e.g LED status, microUSB charging, darken clip, etc). A8's design resemble S30, which is one of my favorite styling for 18650.   

Tom E wrote:

Put in a XP-L HI V3 2B last night - it's from MtnE back when they had the V3's. Focus is a little out now, but expected. I compared the flood against a modded ZeusRay and actually the A2 is about as wide, but cleaner, more a perfect round. So it's actually quite wide - think the ZeusRay is at or near the widest flood I have.

Getting more amps now, about 2.60A - was hoping for more with a resistor mod (added an R300) and 28-> 24 AWG LED wires. Bypass added to the driver spring.

Lumens: 802 @start, 772 @30 secs, throw: 25.5 kcd taken at 5m (319 meters)

Realize now the circular pattern around the zoomed out dye image is from the white LED centering piece, outside of that, not much in artifacts.

I don't see any differences in 2015 vs 2016. Think the guy on DHGate even updated the listing to 2016. Looks like the factory lumens went up, but they are exaggerated anyway.

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Tom E
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True - little tricky getting things assembled. I left the 24 AWG wires close to the same length as the originals, but probably could be shortened. What I did was first almost fully tighten the pill top down, aligned the wire holes to where they will come from the driver, then carefully inserted the driver from below, then only had to give the pill top a 1/2 turn or so to tighten it up, so very little twisting of the wires as a result, and not much extra wire length needed. For the button assembly, just made sure it was in the fully "out" position prior to inserting the driver, so that went ok for me.

Not sure, but suspect I got nothing from the resistor mod. Interesting you saw flood was narrower than the ZuesRay, because mine appeared about dead even, but my ZeusRay was an original thick pill shelf model, and modded with an XM-L2 neutral/Noctigon. Think there's been some ZuesRay variants. The ZuesRay flood beam is not a perfect circle with mine - slightly squared off but no big deal really - only notice it on a white wall.

Even at 2.6A, I could feel the body getting hot fairly quickly. Not as much metal for heat sinking as the ZuesRay has, but I do like the thinner profile.

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Does this work with flat top 18650?

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Just received my SupFire A2. Some preliminary observations:

  • It works with flat top 18650 (there is a spring-loaded post at each end).
  • Beam Pattern is very clean for an aspheric zoomie, with a fairly wide flood. No rings in flood mode and in the transition to spot. Spot mode has a very slight ring around the image of the emitter. This ring is the image of the white centering disk around the emitter.
  • Tint: Cool white. No hint of green.
  • Recharging: It works, but the little rubber cover over the USB port looks quite flimsy. Much flimsier than the rubber covers over the ports on my Niteye EC-R16 and EC-R26.
  • Overall Length: Definitely feels like they could have shortened it some. for instance, the tailcap adds at least a cm of unnecessary length when the only things in it are a contact plate and a covered spring with maybe half a cm of travel. Behind the cover plate is another 1 cm of light.
  • Hand feel: Light feels grippy in the hand and feels like it is well built. Hand feel is pretty good though the switch feels like it would accidentally turn on in the pocket.
  • Zoom mechanism: Butter smooth well lubed zoom mechanism. Maybe too well-lubed since lube can be seen when the light is cycled to spot mode. On the upside, the zoom feels great.
  • waterproofness: Not waterproof. Only thing I’ve done so far is remove the bezel, but the outer bezel and lens had no o-rings.
  • Modding potential: Haven’t looked into it yet. If I do, the goal would be to dramatically shorten the light, likely by replacing the driver, removing the charging mechanism, and then removing excess parts of the body and tailcap. I figure I might be able to take an inch off the light

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