Ultrafire C3 Old and New

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Don
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Ultrafire C3 Old and New

The new Q5 C3 is a very different beast from the old ones - I'll write a review shortly. It is around a millimetre longer than the older C3 in 2AA configuration. While the threads are the same and the dimensions mostly the same, a spot of work is needed to get the old and new parts to work together. The reason for the slight difference in length is that they've at last put enough threading on the extension tubes to allow for proper contact.

 

I tried to get hound to be the background but she kept sitting up to see what I was doing and breathing which didn't help stability.

Old and New

 

The grey one is the new one. For an amp less current than the old black one you get more light. What's not to like?

So having given up on a canine backdrop.

It stays still this time!

The knurling on the news one is very much nicer - the old one actually feels smooth to the touch and the knurling adds basically no grip. The new one sticks nicely in the hand. In fact, it is in a different school rather than class when it comes to quality. It just feels right.

As well as being longer the new one is roughly a gramme lighter (I can't find my small scales so had to use the kitchen ones). The old one in 2AA config is around 52g empty, the new one 51. Once I find the proper scales I'll try this again. Having found them, new light 103.5g with two Eneloops, old one 104.2g with two Eneloops.

 

Here is the crucial difference between new and old.

Threading

There is actually enough threading on the new extension piece to make reliable contact. With the old ones, most of the contact issues can be resolved by strategic use of copper wire - I went and harvested a piece from my washing line and stuck it in to get the black extension to work with the grey ones - it is not entirely secure as there is a shortage of threading on the internal as well as external threads. I find that a turn or two wrapped round an AA and then stuffed into the light (Carefully! It is a BAD idea to short out your cells - they don't like it). On old C3s this may be necessary at every joint.

Conductivity fix

 

Then you can lego top your heart's content. Neither of these configurations actually work but a few minutes with some copper wire would sort that out - solid core ethernet cable is the perfect size for this.

Lego!

 

And finally, the 3AA C3. Now sorted so I can measure output. Cells charging as i type.

3AA

In this configuration it is 197mm/7.75" long. Output at 0/30/120 seconds on 3 Eneloops is 234/209/194 lumens.

 

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

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

Edited by: Don on 09/25/2010 - 06:00
sb56637
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Very nice Don! Glad to hear they fixed the C3, it's such a common name and sort of a poster child of Chinese lights. But did they fix the contact issues for the 1xAA configuration? And what about the switch? Does it tailstand?

 

Haaa, canine backgrounds! Smile

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Don
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sb56637 wrote:

Very nice Don! Glad to hear they fixed the C3, it's such a common name and sort of a poster child of Chinese lights. But did they fix the contact issues for the 1xAA configuration? And what about the switch? Does it tailstand?

The switch cover is slightly recessed so it tailstands well. The lanyard cord through the hole in the tail is thicker than usual so it tailstands a lot better without the lanyard. Like just about every other light out there.

The switch is quite audible but slightly quieter than the one in the older C3.

Both are reverse clickies and I think the new one's switch is slightly lighter in action. Should be able to test that on the kitchen scales - they say1315g at the click for the new one and 1435 for the old so about 1200g (Around 3lb) pressure to switch it on. I have no idea (yet) how this compares to other lights.  My two Hugsby P3* lights are 1500g and 1350g. Hit it wrong and it didn't switch till 3500g or about 8lb.

 

No issues with one or two AAs - but since I don't have any more new C3 extension tubes, there were major issues with 3AAs as I had to use an old tube. With enough strands from my washing line I could set up a 5AA configuration but i doubt the driver would react well to 7V and this one's a keeper so I'll not try that. At the head end, contact is really between a blob of solder and the end of the body tube so if it is tightened brutally and then loosened there will be contact issues with the head. As a precaution, it is easy enough to wrap an inch or so of Cat-5 round an AA and stick it in the head. This applies to many lights.

 

Everyone should have some cat-5 hanging around - you get 8 strands of fine copper wire handy for all sorts of contact issues and the stuff is cheap.

 

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

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

Vectrex
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Someone (Indiana Jones ???) stated at DX that this light has no O-ring at the front... can you confirm this, Don?

Don
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There isn't one - however, the glass lens appears to be stuck to the reflector with something gooey. I'd not be worried about water-tightness. That said, since I've got it apart, I'll look through the box of O rings and see if I have one that fits.

 

A 19mm O ring fits nicely. 

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5606

 

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

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

Vectrex
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Thanks for easing my mind. Now I will wait and see. I guess there will be a larger gap between body and head afterwards?

Don
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Vectrex wrote:

Thanks for easing my mind. Now I will wait and see. I guess there will be a larger gap between body and head afterwards?

 

A little more - here's a picture

As it arrived

Stock

 

With an O ring

O ring installed

 

As you can see, the back end of the internal O ring is now visible. I'll test it under water shortly.

 

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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No evidence of water penetration after about ten minutes in the sink.

In the sink

 

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

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

Vectrex
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Thanks, I will try the dunk test with the head alone, once the flashlight arrives... I have some 18mm O-rings here from my last problems with C3's ... I guess I will never learn to avoid C3's ... masochistic tendencies - might be the case here.. WinkUndecided

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I think I lost the Ultralottery... again. My grey C3 on 2AA is just as bright as the Hugsby P32 on 1AA. That's it ... never ever C3s again. Frown

Don
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Vectrex wrote:

I think I lost the Ultralottery... again. My grey C3 on 2AA is just as bright as the Hugsby P32 on 1AA. That's it ... never ever C3s again. Frown

 

Bummer! Mine is enormously better than the older ones. Either that or you have an amazing P31

 

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

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

Vectrex
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Exterior is nicer.. especially knurling and anodizing... but the inside is still the problematic C3 design... contact head-body on worn out solder dots -- making just barely contact... contact body-tailcap -- had to loosen the switch screw plate to make good contact... on mine the threads are still too short. Overall very problematic design... never again an Ultrafire with anodized threads... like I said - Ultralottery. I will have to see if output is diminished by bad contacts, bad driver or something else... but I shouldn't have to. This one is going most likely in the presents-for-non-flashaholics-pile after fixing contact issues... output on 1xaa is not much dimmer than on 2AA?...weird. On the other hand .. should have a nice runtime. Just measured...  fluctuating between 0.6-0.7 A on 2AA and 0.9-1.1 A on 1AA.

agenthex
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You just saved me $15.

 

Thanks. Smile

 

These companies really need to get their act together. These days I've got enough of the good ones by accident that I won't really buy a light unless it's special. It's kind of a poor business model where customers don't trust you over easily and cheaply fixable problems.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

Vectrex
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That's why we are here... on the other hand ... you could receive a sample like Don's...must be feeling good to win the Ultralottery.

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I was about to get the Tank007 E07 instead and someone just reviewed it yesterday as having a 7000K tint now...

 

WTF, one of the distinguishing qualities of that light was nice tint.

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I think I managed to sort out all contact issues for now.  The light still isn't as bright as Don's sample (still 0.7 A). But after coping with my initial disappointment, it's not that bad. I still wouldn't recommend it, because the design principles require a high quality machining for which UF isn't especially famous for. But anodisation  is very nice... I like that satin finish... the tint on mine is vanilla white, nice...beam profile is very even, best XR-E I have. If it had Don's output... I think I would like it too.

Maybe this new C3 SS with extension will be better, as stainless steel bodies don't rely on those tiny solder dots to make good contact.

Don
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That does look interesting. Wonder if they will sell the extensions separately - 3 NiMH should give the same output as a 14500 but for a lot longer. Heat will be an issue in that configuration though.

Wonder how long it will take for someone to put in two 14500s and wonder why it is emitting smoke?

 

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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To add to the confusion, now there is a new Aurora C3. But I don't think anybody will confuse this one with the Ultrafire version...

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.47353

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Vectrex
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Only the colour-blind... might be good to get some potential female flashaholics on the forum Wink "Uh, look.. it's pink!".... maybe as a bundle with some pink high heels

sb56637
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Vectrex wrote:

Only the colour-blind... might be good to get some potential female flashaholics on the forum Wink "Uh, look.. it's pink!"....

That would definitely seem to be their target audience with this one! Smile

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