Akoray K-103 Review

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fran82
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Akoray K-103 Review

Akoray K-103

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★

Akoray K-103

 

Summary:

Battery: AAA/10440
Switch: Reverse tailcap switch
Modes: 1
LED Type: CREE xr-e ez900 (unknown bin - probably Q5)
Lens: Coated glass lens
Tailstands: No
Price Payed: 13,71 USD
From: 
 www.dealextreme.com
Date Ordered: September 2010

 

Pros:

  • Quality machining. Good, smooth and anodized threads.
  • Better and stronger clip than it´s big brother (akoray k-106).
  • Minimun weight (probably less than Black Cat).
  • Driver not epoxied. Easy replaceable with a multimode one.
  • Pill interchangeable with the pill of the TrustFire XPE F23 (read bonus part)
  • Accepts AAA/10440 (insane output with 10440)
  • Beam with a LOT of USABLE SPILL
  • High runtime with AAA due to veeery low current draw

Cons:

  • Came unlubed, also only had 1 of 4 orings.
  • Low output with NiMh (¿about 60 lumens?)
  • For this price could be multimode

Features / Value: ★★★☆☆ 

Not much to say.This is the specimen: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.23994~r.43033281

Is the small brother of the famous Akoray K-106, but the small brother of the programmable one, not the other. Why?. Simple, its body has a gray gunmetal color and has anodized threads. The only Akoray with those characteristics is the programmable one. The other K-106 style bodies (TrustFire F20, UniqueFire AA-S1, UltraFire M20...) are in a goldish-brownish color and hasn´t anodized threads.

The unit I received has a xr-e ez900 die, so it should be Q5 minimun (if I am not wrong.)

It is a single mode flashlight, AAA/10440 capable, with a clickie reverse switch in the tailcap. Has a very big rubber cap in the tailcap, making impossible to tailstands, but prevents accidental power on when in your pocket. The clip is not the filmsy one that is in the typical k-106.... is very strong, and has a different shape. The reflector is metal, orange peel.

The better thing about this flashlight is the body. Oh my God! I purchased it precisely due to the fact that I LOVE the akoray K-10x style bodies. It is incredible light, durable and thin. I decided to get an inexpensive AAA light to subsitute my semi-expensive itp A3 when I go to determinate places (if I loose the K-103 dont worry. If I loose the itp I will die!)

 

Build Quality: ★★★★ 

I will not give the 5 stars due to the lack of 3 of 4 o-rings. But if you have the correct ones, simply put them.

The build quality impressed me. The anodized, smooth and perfect threads claimed my attention (despite it came unlubed). It is very pleasant to screw and unscrew the head for changing batteries. Not espected this in an inexpensive light.

I like this body, its color, its knurling..... the clip (stronger than in the big brothers. Also different shape).

No more to say, if all the cheapo chinese lights were with this quality........ My wallet would be empty...

But, but, dont forget that this is not itp. Forget about QC, so quality between different units may be different. For example, earlier units were coming with the 4 o-rings. Now comes only with 1. (typical on these lights....)

 

Battery Life:  ★★★★★

Well. We have to distinguish between 2 battery life. The one when using NiMh and the one when using 10440.

I dont know why, but I think that this light is underdriven with AAA. The driver looks "rare". Or the driver is bad or simply is underdriven.

It only draws 0,8A from a fresh NiMh cell. But this gives you a biiig runtime. I was doing tests and after 1 hour I didnt noticed drop in the output from a crappy alkaline (also draws 0,8A from alkalines, so the chemistry is not limiting current at all). After 1h10 minutes I stopped the test, because I was getting bored.

So, with AAA you get about 80% of the output of the A3 eos with AAA too, but ¿about 60 lumens more than 1 hour? Very good. The A3 eos gives 80 lumens the first +/-30 minutes and then decreases. The K-103 looks to have stable output from about¿ 1 hour? I have to check it again. I dont beleive.

 

Now 10440. This is as the typical 10440 capable lights. It is direct driven with 10440. Mine draws about 1A. The power output is about the 80% of the TrustFire F23. The runtimes, almost similar as in the F23. 12 minutes until 3,6 volt and about 30 minutes until voltage protection cut-off (Yes protected batteries fit perfectly)

 

Light Output: ★★★★

OK, difficult to say number of stars.

If you want to use it with AAA, probably 3 stars, due to not so powerfull output (but very good runtime). I estimate about 60 lumens for about 1 hour. Or lets say 80% light output of the itp A3 eos on same chemistry (alkalines).

If you want to use it with 10440, probably 4 stars. 10440 is the best battery for this flashlight, dont worry about the heat, it will dissipate very well. With a grey protected TrustFire I estimate something between 130 and 150 lumens for about 12 minutes until 3,6 volt. It is about the 80% of the light output of the F23 with same battery.

BEAM characteristics. In one word: NICE. Better than the F23, I prefer a good defined central spot with a LOT of usable spill which the F23 lacks. Cool white tint.

 

Bonus part!:  ★★★★★

Lets talk about the funny thing of this light. Well I explain. I have 3 TrustFire F23 in my house. 1 is completely dead, 1 works perfectly and the other has the tailcap assembly destroyed. So I have a completely working spare pill+reflector of the F23 laying around.....

One day I was bored in home, I was looking how good are the threads of the k-103. Ummmm, I thought "umm would be possible to screw the pill of the F23 inside the head of the k-103 and make it a xpe multimode AAA flashlight???". Oh my God! I took out the pill of the K-103 and tried to screw the one of the F23............. It screws perfectly!!!!!!!!!!!! But wait....

Also the reflector of the F23 fits perfectly. Ummm. If you insert the F23 reflector + F23 pill inside the head of the K-103, you can not fully screw the head on the body....... so, OK.....

Take a dremel (or other tool) and SAND about 2mm of the upper part of the F23 pill (the part next to the LED). But veeeery carefull or you will destroy the xpe LED dome. If you sand 2mm of the pill, now you can fully-screw the head now.

What? Now you have an akoray k-103 with smooth reflector + xpe + 3 modes!!!!!!!!!

Also you can use the original reflector which is designed for xr-e but I dont recommend it. The beam is very rare. Also with the F23 reflector you will have more throw....

 

OK that´s it. For the one who is interested on it........

 

Summary: ★★★★

OK. I have said practically all about it. If you want an inexpensive AAA light, and the weight is a must, this is yours.

Want to use AAA? if you are satisfied with about 60 lumens for 1 hour... good for you

Want to use 10440? 12 minutes and an average of 130 lumens?... even better

The lack of 3 o-rings and the low light output with AAA makes it a 4 star AAA flashlight.

Also some people will add or deduct another star due to the lack or not lack of modes....

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:13
fran82
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OK review is done, but........ what happens with the photos?

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brted
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I'm glad to see a review of this light. It doesn't get nearly the attention that the K-106 and clones get.

fran82
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Yes! wonderfull flashlight... but.... A review without photos..... what happens to the photos?

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Vectrex
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Just drag and drop... works for me.

Or here are some tips for adding pictures:

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

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

fran82
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@vectrex "Just drag and drop... works for me." What? drag what and drop where?.... The tips you show in the link not function for me......

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Vectrex
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OK, maybe my explanations  were a bit short.

I use Firefox and I can drag the picture from a tab with the Imageshack picture into the comment box (BLF) in an other tab.

If drag'n'drop doesn't work for you... there is that "tree" symbol above the comment box (first row in  the middle) where you can insert the link to your picture.

I hope it is clearer now what I mean.

old4570
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Ive wanted a 103 or a 102 for a while ....  They would be fantastic in 3 mode [ Hi - Med - Lo ]  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

sb56637
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Very nice first review on BLF, Fran! Thanks a lot, very well done. I hope there will be more to come from you! Wink I fixed the image for you. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

 

So this looks like a quality product. I just wish it had modes for that price. Really nice, practical design, though.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

fran82
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@sb56637 this is not my first review. My first review was the itp a3 eos upgraded, but I didnt follow this format of review

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Boaz
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Ive wanted a 103 or a 102 for a while ....  They would be fantastic in 3 mode [ Hi - Med - Lo ]  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

You took the words right outta my mouth ..I love the look of them. No idea why.

 

i've always wanted a 103  and a 102 , but i think I'm drawn to either tiny lights or 18650 size lights  not so much to mid or huge lights ....sorta like  goldilocks

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

                            

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

fran82
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Hi Boaz. This K103 is easily modifiable to 3 mode. The driver is replaceable for a 3 mode one (if you get one). The K102 is impossible to replace (is epoxied inside the pill)

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Boaz
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fran82 wrote:

Hi Boaz. This K103 is easily modifiable to 3 mode. The driver is replaceable for a 3 mode one (if you get one). The K102 is impossible to replace (is epoxied inside the pill)

I think the 102 is a hard one to find these days anyway  but

I have a tendancy to try to get what people have raved about even if they are almost obsolete..

i also find myself drawn more to feel (tactile) and tint .(visual).

Most emitters are sufficently bright that 100 lumens flashed at your average person impresses them .

i'm trying to not fall into the bigger is better thinking .i'm focusing on quality built products and have huge disdain for cheap garbage ..I am actually grateful for the manafont ebay deal because for 4 bucks I learned 501's are pure garbage .I appreciate all the easily learned lessons .

 

Thanks for the heads up .. the -103 is definatly on my to do list

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

                            

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

Nautic
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Boaz wrote:

I think the 102 is a hard one to find these days 

?      http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19768

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

fran82
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Nautic wrote:

Boaz wrote:

I think the 102 is a hard one to find these days 

?      http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19768

Forget about the 102, is sold out despite what sais on DX stock status. I ordered the 102 and because was sold out I ordered the more expensive 103

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