D.Q.G Tiny 26650 battery compatibility

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Hrafn
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D.Q.G Tiny 26650 battery compatibility

I’m looking at the possibility of buying a D.Q.G Tiny 26650 but, dues to COVID-related mail issues (delays and increased costs, on top of previous battery shipping issues), would prefer to source batteries locally (here in New Zealand). I’ve read that this flashlight has compatibility issues with some batteries, especially flat-tops (which covers most of the 26650s available here). Can anybody tell me if its compatible with what appears to be the most commonly-available 26650 here, the Efest 26650 4200Mah (purple, flat-top)?

Sidney Stratton
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I’m not familiar with the D.Q.G. Tiny but as far as flat-top cells, there are a few DIY:

1 – Add a solder blob to the + of the battery,
2 – Add a small magnet,
3 – And my method – peel off the paper ring under the wrap at the + post. I use a flat toothpick to gently push back the wrap. Pluck with tweezers the insulating paper ring (which is somewhat thicker than standard paper) and then heat the wraper back to its place. Still insulates and all’s good!

Hrafn
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(2) seems to be the least-invasive of those options. What size magnet do you suggest (I’ll probably end up buying them off eBay)?

I take it the issue is whether the flat-top +ve contact is slightly above, or slightly below the shrinkwrap/insulating ring? It is slightly above on my Aspire 18350s, and slightly below on my Samsung 30Qs.

goshdogit
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That’s a really neat light. I had one and really liked it, but ended up selling it. FWIW, I used a BASEN 4500mAh unprotected flat-top cell.

Have you considered an Emisar D4SV2 instead? It’s about the same size and has a few extra features like auxiliary emitters, a richer UI, an optional magnetic tailcap, and several LED choices. Depending on your choice of LED, it’ll also have higher output than the 7x, and has adjustable thermal regulation to adjust brightness as heat becomes an issue. I own the first generation D4S, which is essentially the same light without the auxiliary colored LEDs.

Like I said, I owned and really liked the 7x. The simple UI was easy to use and the light was certainly as compact as possible. I found the switch a bit small and ‘mushy,’ and the placement of the lanyard mount seemed a bit odd. Mine also made a barely audible high-pitched whine, which is a known issue with some units due to the inductor vibrating at high frequency.

I’m not trying to talk you out of the 7x, just offering a similarly-sized alternative you may not have considered. Smile

BTW, have you seen Advanced Knife Bro’s YouTube review of the DQG 7x? He mentions battery size around the 4:40 mark.

Hrafn
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Hi goshdogit.

I’m open to alternatives, but the Emisar D4SV2 definitely isn’t what I’m looking for — two of the ‘benefits’ you mention, the “richer UI” (Anduril) and auxiliary colored LEDs. are major drawbacks for me.

(I generally prefer written reviews over video. The only size-related point AKB seemed to be making at 4:40 was issues fitting a 26650 into a charger, and I’ve already checked that mine will accommodate one. Smile )

The rationale behind getting the D.Q.G Tiny 26650 was a replacement for my Astrolux S41S (my current ‘desk’ flashlight) with something that wasn’t much bigger, with 4-5x the battery capacity.

What I am after is a short flashlight, with good build quality, and a simple interface.

Length: I’d prefer 100mm or less, absolute maximum somewhere around 120mm. I want one that will be stable (low centre of gravity) when tail-standed, or when sitting head-down on my desk. I’ll also want one that has at most a small, tapered head (or no head), for low tail-stand center of gravity, and ease of holding over the full length of the flashlight. (I’d also prefer nothing wider than a single-cell 26650, for reason of ease-of-holding.)

Build quality: I had heard some doubts about the Tiny’s switch. I’ve also had some problems with S41S’s switch, specifically its translucent cover, which is sufficiently flexible that it can move off the switch, and has to be massaged back before the switch can be used again. Also, on a more superficial level, the copper heatsink scratches easily, and its fins are sufficiently narrow that they tend to collect grime. I had a similar problem with my previous Convoy S2+ scratching easily, so would prefer any aluminium flashlight to have fairly solid anodising. I’m also not specifically enamored over a 7x in series design (which the Tiny apparently has), as this would likely mean that if any one of the seven blows, the entire flashlight would become non-functional. Fewer emitters and/or an in parallel circuit, would be preferred.

UI: all I need is Moon, Low & High, but I need to be able to swap between them quickly & painlessly. Medium and Turbo are superfluous, as if I go above Low, I’ll want the highest sustainable intensity. I’d prefer any flashing settings (e.g. Strobe or SOS) not to be on the main setting cycle.

Unwanted extras:
Auxiliary colored LEDs: aka more unnecessary and unwanted light pollution for my already over-polluted bedroom.
USB charging: I’d rather change/charge the batteries once in a while than be continually plugging/unplugging.

So if anybody can suggest a simple 26650 flashlight, with better build-quality than the Tiny, that isn’t too much longer than it, I’d be interested.

Sidney Stratton
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Magnets might be also on Funtastic’s webstore https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz/
else eBay. Any thin (1 to 1.5 mm) x 6 to 8 mm dia. can be used. but they are sometimes a problem if you screw the tail cap; the battery shifts the magnet and may not make proper contact. And they are a general nuisance to use, more of a provisional thing for testing a light.

All my lights have a dedicated battery. So peeling the insulating ring is no big deal and makes it clean looking mod. The solder blob doesn’t always come out clean and round.

So I just checked my Efest 26650 / 4200 mAh purple battery; the top is raised by some 1 mm. You won’t have any problems.

Edit: Aug. 14th ’20 @ 5 PM;

Not wanting to veer your choice of light, but just remembered about these two Sofirns: (and they can be purchased locally)
SD05 but uses a 21700 battery. Quite stout and simple UI.
SP33 v3 26650 battery and good UI, no frills added.

You’ll have to inquire about tints.

middle age man
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I have a DQG Tiny 26650 and it works fine with an unprotected flat top (LiitoKala) 26650. You might want to consider a Zebralight SC700d; more expensive and a bit longer but much better switch and a longer sustainable High, using a single high-CRI emitter. The UI can access Moon, Low, and High directly by single click, double click, and hold.

goshdogit
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Hi Hrafn, thanks for the detailed reply! I suggested the D4S* because it’s the only other 26650-powered light I have experience with.

The SC700d is an interesting suggestion by middle age man. Are you familiar with the ZebraLight brand? They’re known for excellent build quality and very efficient drivers in a compact size.

I own many ZebraLights and finally got an SC700d a couple weeks ago. It’s powered by a 21700 battery, and I’m using the Samsung 50E with 5000mAh capacity. That’s the same as capacity as a 26650 cell.

It is 107mm long and weighs 160g with my battery. The body is 27mm diameter and the head tapers to 38mm. Center of gravity seems to be about the middle of its length.

ZebraLight’s anodizing is top-notch. My EDC is a five year-old ZebraLight SC62w and the only signs of wear are from hard falls.

The newest ZebraLights have a very customizable UI. From off, there are shortcuts to three mode levels with a click, double-click, or long-press of the switch. You can set them to any three of these outputs:

  • 3000 lumens
  • 945
  • 583
  • 192
  • 52
  • 25.2
  • 11.6
  • 2.1
  • 0.32
  • 0.12
  • 0.04

There is one sub-level within each of the three main levels. A double-click toggles between the main level and its sub-level. These three sub-levels can be set to any of the above outputs. The light will come back on at either the main or sub-level for each of the three shortcuts, depending on which you last used.

Strobes are activated with 3 clicks from off. Battery check is 4 clicks from off.

Can you tell us what other lights do you own? What is your budget for your new light?

Hrafn
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Hi goshdogit.

I’ll keep the SC700d in mind, although I did notice on a review that it has a problem (similar to the Tiny) with some flat-tops that have a +ve contact below the level of the shrinkwrap (e.g. the Samsung 48G — not that that’s a big problem, especially as the 48G isn’t available in NZ). I’m also looking at the Amutorch E3 (also 21700, 11mm shorter, much cheaper, but perhaps not such a convienient UI), but would hold off on that until I’ve seen some reviews come out.

My current flashlights are (i) my Astrolux S41S, as my desk flashlight, which sits on my desk ready to be used about the house, is large and heavy enough that I know which (vest or jacket) pocket I’ve put it in and squat enough not to fall over easily when stood on head or tail. (ii) My Lumintop Tool AAA Ti goes in my breast pocket if I’m out walking at night.

The S41S’s predecessors have been a (18350 tube) Convoy S2+, and before that some sort of generic black 18650 (Ultrafire or some such, I think). The Tool’s predecessors have been the S2+ (doing shared duty) and before that an Arc LSH-S CR123. I also briefly owned a BLF 348 AAA, but that never went into active service (I preferred my pre-existing Tool), and has since (along with the 18650) been given to a friend.

As far as budget goes, it’s flexible. Probably around US$50 for a flashlight I like (i.e. one that’s a definite improvement over the S41S, but will likely in its turn be replaced when something better comes along), and around $100 for one I love (i.e one that fits my needs so well, that I’m unlikely to replace it in the short-to-medium term).

Addendum: one potential downside of the E3 is its ridiculously high ‘Moon’ mode: 150LM (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000948355765.html), which would put it as high as the ‘Med’ on my S41S (I think). This would mean mucking around with its “Stepless Dimming” system for lower intensities (assuming its not a straight out typo).

Hrafn
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Hi Sidney Stratton.

Both the Sofirns you list are a bit on the long side for my needs, and I’m not a fan of twist-switches like on the SD05. Thanks for reminding me to look at Sofirn though, as some variant of the IF25 may be a contender (if I can find one without multi-tinting and Anduril).

Sidney Stratton
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There is the IF25 Anduril only variant. I would set the UI to 2 or 3 modes with an upper limit at about 1200 lumens – then forget about the Anduril. It’s what I do for some of my work lights. Besides, trying to find the ‘perfect’ light is an ongoing quest; unobtanium.

Others are suggesting $100+ lights, I think that is not in your ballpark. Sofirn has quality lights and they often come with the battery. Again a plus when these are limited.

But the SD05 is my preferred light for a quick look around. Very simple ‘can’t go wrong’ interface. I too didn’t think much about the rotating ring, but I liked it enough to buy a second one. It sits so well on its tail and so short – quite perfect for general garage illumination (when I don’t want to turn on the fluorescents and get blinded). My other most used light is the SP33 5000ºK variant. Super easy UI (stepped modes) and delivers the illumination for outdoor/indoor inspection.

Best of luck in your search. As you originally posted about the eFest 26500 / 4200 mAh raised flat top, this thread kinda deviated.

Hrafn
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Sidney Stratton wrote:
There is the IF25 Anduril only variant. I would set the UI to 2 or 3 modes with an upper limit at about 1200 lumens – then forget about the Anduril.

Yes, and the possibility of locking down Anduril to a more limited UI has been at the back of my mind recently — mostly its Muggle Mode. It’s not clear to me either from the Anduril flowchart …

… or from the Anduril manual how what you suggest would work (I think Anduril might be sufficiently complex, that you have to fully grasp its complexities, before you can force simplicity out of it). There is additionally the worry that an accidental extra click at the wrong time would leave me lost down the Anduril UI rabbithole.

Quote:
Besides, trying to find the ‘perfect’ light is an ongoing quest; unobtanium. … As you originally posted about the eFest 26500 / 4200 mAh raised flat top, this thread kinda deviated.

What this thread has taught me is that the D.Q.G Tiny 26650 is not unique as a sub-100mm large-capacity light. Given that my S41S is neither dying nor failing in its daily tasks, I have the luxury of the option (should I choose to exercise it) of simply waiting to see what else might turn up. As things stand, the Tiny seems to be still the best compromise to my needs available at the moment. I favour the physical build of the Amutorch E3 (subject to review confirmation), but the lowest level of its stepped UI is far too high to be acceptable/usable for me. So I can buy the Tiny now, or wait to see if an E3-Mk2/E3-clone comes out with saner stepping. [ponders]

Oddly enough, it circled back to very-similar compatibility issues with the SC700d (the only US$100+ light under consideration). I suspect that such issues may tend to crop up fairly frequently when you get into the shortest possible build around a particular battery size (and the design compromises that necessitates). That actually may, paradoxically, be an argument in favour of the Tiny — its been thoroughly reviewed, so its battery quirks are known (and so can be worked around). The E3 (or its hypothetical eventual Mk2/clone) haven’t been thoroughly reviewed yet, but given that its length exceeds the Tiny by less than the difference between their battery lengths, it seems entirely possible that it may have similar, but as yet undocumented, quirks.

My thanks to everybody for their input.

Addendum: As an aside, my (approximate) thinking on hardware/UI is this:
Hardware:
E3(*) > Tiny > SC700d > Sofirn IF25A/Amutorch X9
(* assuming no quirks/faults turn up in reviews)
UI:
SC700d > Tiny > X9 > twist-switch > Anduril > E3

Hrafn
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I ordered the Tiny 26650 when Fasttech had a sale a month or two back. It arrived today.

The size is excellent (only slightly longer than my hand’s width), and it’s only slightly heavier than my S41S.

The build quality seems to be generally good, although I’m not so sure about the threading. I put some lubricant (that I had around since my LS-ARCs) on, which I hope should help.

The switch however is rather small. This in turn makes it difficult reliably getting the three presses to get to the low setting — it sometimes interprets my attempts as 2+1 (briefly high, then off again) or 1+2 (briefly medium then onto high), either of which which could be a bit of a pain if I’m trying to maintain night vision.

The Efest 5000mAh batteries are working fine with it.

Hux
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Keepower and Evva both work fine in my tiny monster.

Hrafn
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A quick addendum. The switch turned out to be more of this flashlight’s Archilles Heel than I initially realised. It failed after less than 6 months of light use, and only a few days out of Fasttech’s 180 days from dispatch repair warranty policy. Even before I was told it was out of warranty, I intended to replace it as my primary desktop flashlight — I’m getting Amutorch E3 to replace it in that capacity. Rather than throwing good money after bad on getting the D.Q.G repaired out-of-warranty, I’m picking up a Convoy S11 to put the 26650s into, for use as a general household flashlight.