Sofirn SP36 spewed toxic chemicals throughout my entire house

214 posts / 0 new
Last post
jigsaw
jigsaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 01/15/2016 - 17:35
Posts: 293
Location: Michigan, USA

Barry says that Sofirn will pay for it to be returned to them and I assume a refund or replacement?

What else is left to bitch about?

Joshk
Joshk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/09/2015 - 12:12
Posts: 2719
Location: USA

If the Sofirn did not come with the wall adapter, then it’s a VERY real possibility Sofirn had nothing to do with the problem. From your description, it seems the charger mistakenly sent the flashlight too much voltage. There is a voltage negotiation that needs to happen with USB-C. Did you happen to purchase the cheapest USB-C wall adapter you could find? I get the feeling this was a wall-adapter negotiation failure.

Oli
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 6 hours ago
Joined: 08/03/2018 - 21:03
Posts: 969
Location: United States

Lightbringer]Reiterating all this…

[quote=Lightbringer

wrote:

People here probably remember my pushback against using usb-c in everything,

I thought that was because you couldn’t make it work with your flip phone. ; I think everybody needs to have some sort of charger or preferably USB tester that shows them what’s going on when charging phones,flashlights or loose batteries. Specifically being able to watch volts and amps at various stages is crucial to understanding what’s going on while charging any device. And a USB tester could help identify what might have been the problem for this OP because he still has the same charger and cable and another presumably identical flashlight. The one recently tested by HKJ would be suitable.

You can't compare the big flashlight in the sky to the little flashlight in your hand.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9639
Location: Berkeley, California

Quote:
nuemtol wrote: I wish OP would walk over to the charger and post the model number. This thread has been circling the speculation toilet for 4 pages.

Good suggestion. Please provide the exact make and model of the USB charger and the cable that you have used, Jake. It would really help to pinpoint the root cause for this malfunction. Without any further information we all can only speculate about the defect. I tend to agree with the assumption that the internal charging circuit was overloaded by a wrong voltage (9V/12V/20V instead of 5V) because the “handshake” between charger and charging circuit was mismatching and some safeguard function (surge protection?) did not work properly or was not in place.

Yep.

It will look like one of these.

http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-apple-is.html

Which one, as specifically as you can?
Who put together the bundle of flashlight and charger?
Yeah, it’s possible Sofirn bought and bundled something bad. Or someone else did.

Cheap/counterfeit chargers have killed people.
You can look this stuff up:

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=counterfeit+USB+cha...

Amazon sells counterfeits irresponsibly.

Look up whatever identifying info you can find on the charger, post pictures of that, and
look to see if HKJ has reviewed that model.

https://lygte-info.dk/info/indexBatteriesAndChargers%20UK.html

https://lygte-info.dk/info/indexUSB%20UK.html

There’s a specific safe distance inside on the circuit board required between the AC current conductors and the DC output, and that proper gap is often not done right.

You could easily get five successful charges followed by an overvoltage failure from a bad charger.

Just saying, don’t throw blame until you investigate possible causes. And don’t trust Amazon.

PS: yes, they don’t do QC/QA on their instruction page text, but you can tell what they’re telling you.
It appears to me they only give a cable, not a hardware USB power supply. Is that right? Where’d yours come from and what is it?

Quote:
Integrated charger The SP36 has a USB-C charging port. Please usa premium cable and a power adapter with 5V, 2A to charge your lamp. While charging the switch LED is reed. It goes green when charging is finished
Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 3194

jigsaw wrote:
Barry says that Sofirn will pay for it to be returned to them and I assume a refund or replacement? What else is left to bitch about?

I'm sure Sofirn will do whatever they can to investigate the problem and to compensate the customer by refunding him the broken device as well as any shipping costs (please keep the post office receipt Wink ) that will arise. Apart from that I'm wondering what more Sofirn should compensate in this very situation. If I was Sofirn I'd probably send Jake some kind words of apology for the unpleasant incident (which I could image has happened already via PM) and maybe - as a gesture of goodwill - a voucher to get another Sofirn flashlight of his choice free of charge. That's it.

Everything else has been addressed by now to pinpoint and rectify this problem as soon as possible. I asked Barry to talk to Sofirn's engineering tomorrow. Maybe they can simulate a surge test with 20V input voltage on another SP36S sample to see what happens and if there's anything else that could make the charging circuit go nuclear. The most important thing to do right now is to get ahold of the defective unit for proper forensic analysis.

As far as I can assess the situation, nobody got hurt and nothing else is kaput except for some scared souls and some unpleasant odor on the USB-connnector and inside the room which hopefully will soon disappear. I always get the creeps when someone is asking to file a law suit against someone else. If this becomes the usual way how to handle things....good lord....we can kiss a lot of flashlight manufacturers or at least their contribution and collaboration on BLF goodbye for good. I now feel set back to the Emisar D4 V2 "muggle-mode gate" Hank and ToyKeeper have been dealing with. Sad

Propeak
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 08/03/2017 - 11:24
Posts: 108
Location: Greece

Sofirn’s hands-on approach is better than any other flashlight manufacturer I’ve seen yet and Barry is often “walking among us”.

Of course it’s Jake’s call but I think it’s in Jake’s, Sofirn’s and our interest too to figure out what caused this.

My money’s on the charger too, somehow giving too much voltage to the unit for some bizarre reason. But if it is in the flashlight’s charging interface that could affect many other products including the LT1 possibly which is currently in production.

Full disclosure, I have an SP36 and LT1 on the way so, of course, I’m a little rattled! Silly

DBSAR
DBSAR's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 02/11/2013 - 23:28
Posts: 6476
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Jake257 wrote:
will34 wrote:
I was hoping to see some pictures. This thread is already on its 4th page…

I posted 11 pictures there is a link to the gallery

Where is the link to the pictures? I have had experience with various flashlight driver fires and tested various battery types overheating.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 3194

hank wrote:
Who put together the bundle of flashlight and charger? Yeah, it's possible Sofirn bought and bundled something bad. Or someone else did.[...]

You could easily get five successful charges followed by an overvoltage failure from a bad charger. Just saying, don't throw blame until you investigate possible causes. And don't trust Amazon. PS: yes, they don't do QC/QA on their instruction page text, but you can tell what they're telling you. It appears to me they only give a cable, not a hardware USB power supply. Is that right? Where'd yours come from and what is it?

Quote:
Integrated charger The SP36 has a USB-C charging port. Please usa premium cable and a power adapter with 5V, 2A to charge your lamp. While charging the switch LED is reed. It goes green when charging is finished

 

If I got the OP right, it was an SP36S light that malfunctioned. I have only used a USB-A to USB-C cable along with some USB-chargers that come with a USB-A socket. On the picture below you see a Blitzwolf BW-S5 QC3.0 (up to 22V) charger charging the SP36S with the USB-A to USB-C cable supplied with the flashlight. The light is being charged at its maximum rated specs, i.e. 12V @ 1.67A (= QC 2.0).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quick_Charge

 

This is an excerpt from the Sofirn SP36S manual that you can also download from my sharepoint here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1oZvw8Pybww_O198ynTl8yNXkUjUG9ohw

Sofirn never officially stated the maximum input voltage but I was told by them it is rated up to 12V @ 1.67A. Even though my USB charger can deliver up to 22V output voltage (if the right protocol was being used) my sample did not go beyond 12V. AFAIK, Sofirn never bundles USB-chargers along with their lights. We need Jake to provide the exact brand and model number of the USB-charger and cable he used on the SP36S. If it was a charger with a USB-C socket it's possible the PowerDelivery protocol (20V 5A !) was being used instead of the QC 2.0 protocol.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_Power_Delivery_Specification

 

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 18082
Location: nyc

Firelight2 wrote:
OP mentioned that he’d charged the light four times previously using the same charger and charging cord with no problems before it finally failed on the 5th time.

If the charger was supplying 20v wouldn’t the board have blown the first time it was charged rather than the 5th?

Sounds to me like the problem is probably a defect on the charging board inside the light rather than a defective charger or cord.

Dunno, wasn’t there.

Could’ve charged fine during the day and then gotten unplugged shortly after finishing the first few times, vs the last time when it was left to cook overnight.

Dunno if any electrolytic caps are there on the board, but when they “blow” from stress (vs just drying out over time), they can leak their electrolyte. No idea what that smells like.

Like I said, without a proper post mortem, it’s all speculation. I’m just saying what it sounds like to me.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9639
Location: Berkeley, California

Seriously — the power to damage the flashlight probably came through the wires from the charger.
Which charger? Look it up at HKJ’s page:

Quote:
I decided to check a couple of cheap USB power supplies and also a few more expensive ones. Recently there have been some tear downs of USB power supplies on the internet, where people has shown how bad quality and safety they where, I decided to also include a tear down to see how safe they look. In the test I also included a test with a high voltage ohm meter, to see how much voltage they can handle between mains and low voltage.
Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 3194

DBSAR wrote:
Jake257 wrote:
will34 wrote:
I was hoping to see some pictures. This thread is already on its 4th page...
I posted 11 pictures there is a link to the gallery
Where is the link to the pictures? I have had experience with various flashlight driver fires and tested various battery types overheating.

https://postimg.cc/gallery/2bbhm4vz4/

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 3194

This is a picture of the original SP36 driver (not SP36S driver!) I found via quick Google search. I made a circle around the components that I think that could be located right underneath the burn mark.

Flying Luminosity
Flying Luminosity's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/12/2017 - 13:33
Posts: 629
Location: UK

Following. This is more gripping than a Hollywood thriller in ‘whodunnit’ fashion.

Unheard
Unheard's picture
Online
Last seen: 13 min 45 sec ago
Joined: 01/16/2019 - 11:38
Posts: 2737
Location: Germany

Lux-Perpetua wrote:

This is a picture of the original SP36 driver (not SP36S driver!) I found via quick Google search. I made a circle around the components that I think that could be located right underneath the burn mark.


The µC can be ruled out (that thing with ATMEL written on it), as the light works. The other IC looks like a constant current driver.

Spitzbube.

DBSAR
DBSAR's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 02/11/2013 - 23:28
Posts: 6476
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Lux-Perpetua wrote:

DBSAR wrote:
Jake257 wrote:
will34 wrote:
I was hoping to see some pictures. This thread is already on its 4th page…
I posted 11 pictures there is a link to the gallery
Where is the link to the pictures? I have had experience with various flashlight driver fires and tested various battery types overheating.

ah ok. can definitely see the overheated charred spot on the driver board in the middle. Looks like an overheated/cooked chip, and the cells look fine. Just curious of that the voltage and amps of that charger being used was when it happened?

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 2231
Location: Canada

I’m not familiar with the USB-C standard. So, is USB-C charging something that we need to be concerned about? If I use a legitimate USB charging brick that supports whatever-the-latest-and-greatest USB-C fast-charging standard, is any USB-C flashlight I plug into it going to be okay? Isn’t the flashlight supposed to negotiate its charging voltage? Or is there a mis-match of charger and device that could cause a melt-down?

G0OSE
G0OSE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 09/03/2014 - 12:34
Posts: 2459

Looks to me like that chip or whatever under the word ‘RUBBER’ is the culprit.
If you look at the red/black wires(in the burn’t photo) and reverse it (turned over) in the next photo that seems to be where it burnt. Luckily both photos are together, making it easy to see.

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 3194

Here're some more, I put some arrows to it to point to the location that could be the origin of the burn mark (not necessarily the source of the defect!). Please note this is NOT the SP36S driver but I presume the layout will not look very different. Left picture is from Wieselflinkpro and right picture from Djozz.

 

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9639
Location: Berkeley, California

The USB-C specification looks like a minefield for circuit builders. Apparently the circit board in the device being charged can elicit up to 20V from the charger.
And it looks like the charged device can ask for more voltage than it’s designed to handle, and get it.
Ouch.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=%22USB-C%22+chargin...

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 18082
Location: nyc

Wellp, the green-arrowed thing is a 7135, so I doubt that’s the problem.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 37 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 5091
Location: California

Lightbringer wrote:
Wellp, the green-arrowed thing is a 7135, so I doubt that’s the problem.
Yup.

The 7135 is used in Anduril for regulating moonlight and low modes and is not part of the charging circuit. OP reported that the light still works so that’s probably not the problem.

Lux-Perpetua
Lux-Perpetua's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 3194

So, this could mean either a different driver layout or some other component burned up and all the heat on the other side could only leave traces on a very distinct spot (around these small holes in the driver's surface).

Jake257
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 11/20/2019 - 14:10
Posts: 41

So as it stands now I have thrown away a couple of USB cables. I am not exaggerating at all when I say my phone omits such a strong horrible smell that I am unable to use it without feeling nauseous unless I put tape over the usbc port. I have spent a lot of time cleaning. I threw out everything that was edible in that room, and there is still a strong smell that made both my girlfriend and I pretty sick. Sofirn has not offered to do anything for me other than make the return process more complicated than Amazon makes it.

I’m honestly not surprised that some of the people here are attacking me. I understood that sofirn worked closely with members of this form before posting here, but I thought that would make it a good place to post. I wanted to get as much info as I could about my situation, and give people a heads up on what is possible with this light. I appreciate you guys encouraging me to take pictures of all of this. I honestly might not have touched this thing again otherwise. I will be sure to post them on Amazon with my reviews.

To the guy calling me biased you can think whatever you want. I’m not selling flashlights for a living. I’m honestly wasting my time on here at this point just trying to help other people. I don’t expect that anyone will be able to help me any further than they have so far.

I went into all of this having no biases whatsoever. I point out that the finish, the machining and the packaging of sofirn are the worst of any brand that I have bought simply because it looks like you get what you pay for when it comes to internal build quality as well. I honestly don’t care about a box, but it seems to reflect the quality of the product when you look at the packaging of some of these top-shelf brands. I have been buying high-end flashlights for more than 20 years. This is the first time I’ve had a problem with any of them. That is not bias that is just the objective truth. I’m not saying that reliable brands like Fenix or acebeam are perfect. I personally don’t like the UI or the color temperature on most Fenix lights – heck I will go as far as to say that I strongly dislike the UI on most of the modern Fenix lights. I don’t like the fact that most Acebeams start flashing when the battery goes low and don’t have any good indication of battery status before that. Nothing is perfect, but those brands have been reliable for me. They work exactly the same way they did when I bought them, and they certainly haven’t poisoned me. The fact that I bought a cheap brand and it filled my house with fumes and gave me a massive headache is no coincidence in my mind. If you want to pretend like it’s a coincidence that’s your prerogative. Hopefully most people reading this have a little bit more common sense than that though.

All I said about the support is there’s no one I can call and it does not have a long warranty period. Both of those things seem to be true. With acebeam I can call a reputable dealer with fenix I can call a reputable dealer and back when I was buying novatech and surefire I could call reputable dealers as well. What north american based reputable dealer can I call about sofirn? The shortest warranty of any of these other brands is 5 years. How long is sofirns? I’m posting opinions based on objective facts not based on biases.

I honestly don’t particularly care what’s wrong with the light at this point. Poor quality control and R&D caused charging board or charging chip to burn up. That’s good enough for me. I’m not going to buy another one of these products. I’m not part of the R&D. Frankly the R&D should have been done before I bought this thing. I was buying a finished product. I was not signing up to be part of a forum project to develop a flashlight that doesn’t work properly yet which is I think what some of you expect me to be doing here.

I am going to stick the quality brands moving forward. If sofirn and wants to do something for me to actually compensate me for the damages and inconvenience I have incurred here then great I will figure out how to send them the light. Otherwise I’m going to do what’s easiest for me and send it back to Amazon and get my money back. I personally used to sell through FBA, so I can tell you that if sofirn wants the light back they can get it from Amazon. If they want it back from me they can compensate me at the very least for all of the things I had to throw out because of this incident.

You guys can call me biased, you can call me ridiculous, you can call me sensitive, you can say I am having psychosomatic issues. You can really tell me whatever you want. I don’t care. I’m not part of the flashlight online modding community. I’m simply a guy who owns some nice flashlights and wanted to give people a heads-up about this particular brand while hopefully getting some advice. This thing spewed toxic fumes all over my house. It made me sick, and it made my girlfriend sick. I still smell all of this stuff. I would say this particular flashlight is probably not a good one to give people for Christmas because if this happens to them they will remember it.

The charger is whatever charger is included with an LG v30. The cable is an anker cable. Both of these items still function fine. They have been used for over 2 years to charge multiple other lights and many other devices without any issues. To blame this on the charger is absurd. A fast charger will provide more current to devices that have that capability, but if a brand name top-shelf charger like this causes an incident like this and you want to blame it on the charger then what charger should I have been using? And how should I have known what charger to use when the instructions don’t say anything about this? This is a dangerous low quality product. If people on here who have an agenda want to pretend something else that’s totally fine with me. I’ve done my part. I can move forward with my life with a clear conscience knowing that I at least tried to warn people about this. I will do the same on Amazon.

Like I said before I would have gladly paid three times the price for a light like this that was built properly and safely. I have no problem paying $200 for a good light. I only bought a bottom shelf low quality brand because they made the triple cell high CRI that I wanted. I won’t make that mistake again.

Bearbreeder
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:03
Posts: 334

Ahhh the search for high CRI

rngwn
rngwn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 38 min ago
Joined: 05/17/2018 - 03:44
Posts: 441
Location: 暖武里,Таиланд
Bearbreeder wrote:
Ahhh the search for high CRI

Down that rabbit hole you go. Wink

Look for it, find it, pay for it and get it.

jigsaw
jigsaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 01/15/2016 - 17:35
Posts: 293
Location: Michigan, USA
Jake257 wrote:
If sofirn and wants to do something for me to actually compensate me for the damages and inconvenience I have incurred here then great I will figure out how to send them the light. Otherwise I’m going to do what’s easiest for me and send it back to Amazon and get my money back.

Have you been in contact with Sofirn?

phouton
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 33 min ago
Joined: 10/23/2019 - 19:06
Posts: 595

Jake257 You seem to be convinced that Sofirn is at fault. Maybe they are and maybe they’re not.

Even if the flashlight is shown to be defective, it could have been due a faulty component from suppliers. Or it could actually be due to negligence. Or a host of other possibilities. There simply isn’t enough information to definitively conclude anything.

It’s one thing to suspect a likely cause, it’s quite another to know.

You’re not obligated to do anything. If you really want to help people avoid dangers, you can send it the problematic light to be investigated, maybe independently, so we can all figure out what happened. After all, even if Sofirn is ultimately responsible, how can they fix the problem without knowing what it is?

In your shoes, I would be quite frustrated too. I’m not sure why you feel people are attacking you. However, jumping to conclusions does not help anything.

Bearbreeder
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:03
Posts: 334
rngwn wrote:
Bearbreeder wrote:
Ahhh the search for high CRI

Down that rabbit hole you go. Wink

Look for it, find it, pay for it and get it.

Ill smoke those rabbits by tossing my high CRI exploding light down their rabbit hole …

Itll cook rm nicely as well Wink

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9639
Location: Berkeley, California
Quote:
not surprised that some of the people here are attacking me

Jake, Jake — we’re attacking the lack of information. You’re not the first person to arrive here with a problem and insufficient information to reach a conclusion.

If something happened to your phone, as well as to your flashlight, why blame the cable?

The cable isn’t going to make your phone smell really bad.

EDIT — I’m wrong about that:

Quote:

USB-C cables are playing Russian Roulette with your laptop
Laptops are getting destroyed because of faulty wiring on cheap cords
https://www.theverge.com/2016/2/4/10916264/usb-c-russian-roulette-power-…

Should you fear your USB cable? – CNET
https://www.cnet.com/news/usb-type-c-cable-problems/
Feb 28, 2016 – Not a charger, not a power surge, but just a simple wire? … Each USB-A-to-USB-C cable is supposed to have a resistor inside …

An overheated circuit board, however, will do that, if the charger is overloading the device and the cables are providing the overload.
If Sofirn provided the cable you used, you should send that back to them along with the flashlight head they’ve offered to look at.

Odds are, I’m guessing, it’s the charger, .

What charger, what spec, have you looked it up at HJK’s test page (links provided above)?

Facts, please.

From what I’ve read the USB-C specification allows a device to call for as much voltage as it can stand.
If the charger receives a request for 20 volts, it’s probably going to try to provide it.

Could it be that the charger is hallucinating and sending too much voltage?

Tell us about your charger.

Jake257
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 11/20/2019 - 14:10
Posts: 41

Whether a third party vendor produced these components or not sofirn put them together and they failed. If you go buy a new BMW with a warranty BMW can’t tell you their car is unreliable because of Bosch. They have to fix it. They have to test it to make sure it doesn’t break before they sell it. I have used this charger more than once a day everyday for years to charge my phone. I am charging it right now. It’s not the cable and it’s not the charger it’s the flashlight. You can see burnt components in the flashlight. The flashlight no longer charges. After charging my phone literally more than a thousand times with this charger there is nothing at all wrong with my phone. Those are the facts.

Pages

Topic locked