Waiting for the day when rubber USB port covers are a distant memory

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AFAustin
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Waiting for the day when rubber USB port covers are a distant memory

I was active with flashlights, CPF, etc., back in the “early days” when LED lights were first coming out. Then I pretty much left the scene for a number of years as most of my “hobby money” was going to pocket knives (and still does). But not long ago I stuck my toe back into the flashlight waters and of course have been impressed with all the recent innovations. USB charging direct to the flashlight, for instance, is a great feature.

But I’ve got to admit that I really dislike the typical rubber USB port covers. They’re flimsy and usually don’t fit snugly without some attention and effort. They always seem in the way, and I find myself knocking them out of position with my clumsy fingers. And I suspect that eventually they’ll start becoming detached altogether.

There’s got to be a better way. Exhibit A, for me at least, is the Fenix E09R pocket light. Instead of a rubber port cover, the upper portion of the body functions as a sleeve and is screwed back to expose the port, then screwed forward again to cover it. The E09R is a bit of an offbeat light and has its pros and cons (although I enjoy mine quite a bit), but why this clever feature isn’t employed in other lights beats me. Or, for that matter, any other system other than the annoying little rubber port covers.

Am I the only one who is ready for a change?

Andrew

Edited by: AFAustin on 11/20/2021 - 21:23
Trail Trek
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Yeah I know what you mean. I will admit that I endure most of them as they work (but may fail at some point) but wish some were better. I just got the Convoy M21E and I don’t like the flap on that.
I have an older Haikelite SC01 which has its charging port behind a screw top with o-ring and I know that will last longer than a bad flap.
I will admit some flaps feel like a second thought and others feel rather good like the one on my Astrolux FT03 etc.

ChrisGarrett
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I don’t use USB lights, so I don’t really have that issue, but I can see them being torn off quickly.

Chris

pennzy
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Trail Trek wrote:
Yeah I know what you mean. I will admit that I endure most of them as they work (but may fail at some point) but wish some were better. I just got the Convoy M21E and I don’t like the flap on that.
I have an older Haikelite SC01 which has its charging port behind a screw top with o-ring and I know that will last longer than a bad flap.
I will admit some flaps feel like a second thought and others feel rather good like the one on my Astrolux FT03 etc.

The thickness of the flap on the FT03 makes it better than most
turkeydance
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“Am I the only one who is ready for a change?”
the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.
or something like that.

Sidney Stratton
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When this onboard charging feature was introduced, I liked the option of field charging (always have a spare wall wart and cable(s) in the car). But I find them an annoyance as often they snag, or I’ve mistaken the rubber flap for the switch in the dark. I much prefer my power chargers to the trickle’ish charging these provide. Then the flap is too often in the way when I do use them. But I do like the feature for the muggles that I gift some lights.

I’ve got a few lights with the port recessed within the top threads and I really do think they should be more implemented. It makes any mod so much simpler as the charging board isn’t piggybacked to the driver.

One EDC had the port cover torn off and it was a god bless. Glued a small rubber “washer” (no hole) and without a tab, never gets caught. I’m thinking about doing the like to some other lights.

MtnDon
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To me, the real question is why can my phone be IP68 rated without needing any port covers, but my flashlights cannot?

Couchmaster
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Agreed, I don’t know that Fenix flashlightbut the Sofirn D25 headlamp is a model of how it should work. Simply unscrew to access the port. Good stuff, great headlamp, great price. Not sure teh design will port easily to other product, but they have it rocking for the headlamp.

ps, welcome back. Was just reflecting that I have too many Lone Wolf (pre-Benchmade) DA Autos that are still new in the box I need to cut loose. What are good knife sites to post these on?

Sidney Stratton
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@ Couchmaster;

Ironic that you mention the D25S; I just so ordered a Boruit D20. The same design (hopefully the same quality control as thru Sofirn), single emitter (XPG which I intend to replace with LH351D), and with the S11C zoom. Unfortunately, I can’t find Sofirn’s D10 anywhere. Last I looked I had seen them with the Sams.

AFAustin
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Thanks, Couchmaster. For your knife sales I recommend BladeForums: https://www.bladeforums.com/forums/for-sale-folding-knives-individual.892/

Andrew

raccoon city
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You have to pay money to sell on BladeForums.

I think certain subreddits would be better because that's free.

Selling on JerzeeDevil is also free.

Selling on BLF is free as well, but, of course, we're not a knife website.

Boaz
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Sofirn doesn't make the D10 or D25 they source it from another company . I think the fact that Boruit or  $10 light does it so wellunder the threads makes it a great light and everyone else who can't or doesn't do it just doesn't want to sell lights . the USB on top of the battery is one of the dumber ways to solve the problem .

  One of the biggest issues with noobs buying a powerful led light is the entire 18650 /and having to have a separate charger .

 Noobs aren't willinmg to learn about a new tchnology that they don't understand and deal with the potential dangers ..And be sold /excited about a product . Too much information overload . So many manufacturers are behind the curve .Everything needs to be able to be charged in the light .Boruit D-10 remains a brilliant budget option 

 

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

                            

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

AFAustin
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raccoon city wrote:

You have to pay money to sell on BladeForums.


I think certain subreddits would be better because that’s free.


Selling on JerzeeDevil is also free.


Selling on BLF is free as well, but, of course, we’re not a knife website.

True. It costs $30/yr. for a Gold membership which allows you to sell on BladeForums. May or may not be worth it in your situation but you do get a very large audience.

1stein
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Buy Zanflare F1. It has metal screwable ring to cover the port.

sneym321
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10180 lights have ports covered by the head. The port is cut in the threads so when head is screwed on it is completely covered and water sealed.

mortuus
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not sure why more dont start use magnetic charging ? no flimsy covers to worry about.

...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

              つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

darosk
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Olight does, and they sell plenty. I think the same port and cable is compatible across most if not all their lights too. I’m not a fan of their emitter choices and proprietary batteries, but magnetic charging seems like one of the things they do right.

I really like it on my Skilhunt H04RC.

Personally I don’t have any issue with USB charging ports – in these few years of mine in the hobby I’ve had zero problems with it and will happily continue to use my lights with integrated charging. However, I must say that magnetic charging truly is a godsend.

My Lights (Updated: June 20, 2021)

djozz
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MtnDon wrote:
To me, the real question is why can my phone be IP68 rated without needing any port covers, but my flashlights cannot?

I noticed this too, and for the new to be designed “grandma light” that never went off in the end, I suggested Sofirn to use such a sealed USB-C socket. Apart from a sealed socket being a bit more expensive, it has implications for the construction: because during assembly the socket needs to go sideways into its hole for the seal to close (a non-sealed socket just hoovers behind the hole, no need to go in) , a circuit board with the socket soldered on it needs to be twisted into position, and the cavity in the body must allow a rotation or a shift sideways. In practice this implicates that the driver board must be smaller than the body inner diameter.
For bigger lights this problem is not there.
lfb
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MtnDon wrote:
To me, the real question is why can my phone be IP68 rated without needing any port covers, but my flashlights cannot?

Most of fenix and nitecore are. The cover is there more for dust protection. Or corrosive liquids.

Correllux
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Flashlights could use high quality waterproof charging ports, but…..they don’t (or do some??). They are gasketed and usually soldered so they don’t shift, sometimes with additional adhesive, and the port pins are supposedly molded into the plastic a bit differently to prevent ingress there. Still doesn’t protect them from physical damage or shorting, which a plug cover can help with. It wouldn’t be hard to implement this into a flashlight host, someone just has to want to do it and adjust price accordingly perhaps, and it could make repairs/modding a little more of a hassle.

Oli
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I’ve been dealing with Port covers on my phones daily for the last 7 years. Even though they all had the additional seal the cover keeps the dirt and crud and water out. It’s not really a major problem. I’m not entirely happy with some of the micro USB covers on some lights. The only type C flashlight cover that I have is on the Wurkkos FC11. It’s pretty easy and seems to be a good design but I would question its reliability to keep working and stay fully waterproof if I was popping it in and out everyday for years at a time. It’s not an EDC so that’s not a big issue for me. As already mentioned, assembly, size, space, how waterproof do you really need, all need to be considered. For me, even if the port was sealed without a cover I would still want a cover on it. There are no lights that use magnets that are on the budget end of things at this time. Any light that I’m going to EDC needs to be able to go underwater and I’m not going to rely on the port cover. As a third or fourth light or other use that’s fine. My primary EDC has no ports and my secondary EDC uses a magnet. Size does matter for EDC. The bottom line is there are a lot of variables. If there was one “best” solution we could pick 10 people to come up with one design. Well actually they would come up with 12 different designs. And half of them would have some serious flaws.

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

Bwana
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I have a Taclife flashlight and the tailcap screws off to expose the charging port. I love that feature

I also have some with the rubber cover. I think if the cover was lost, I would fill in the port with silicone , hot glue or epoxy and externally charge the battery .

pennzy
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One mod that can help prevent snagging of the rubber flap is to bevel the lift tab with a razor. This works well depending on the particular design. The Sofirn SC31 pro tab is a good candidate for this.

roostre
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The way Sofirn recessed the rubber cover over the charging port on their IF22A is very good because the little flap you pull on to remove the rubber cover does not easily snag on anything.

How many flashlights does a "real man" need?

None, real men are not afraid of the dark.