Jacob A60 - first impressions

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agedbriar
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Jacob A60 - first impressions

After a long wait, I finally received the Jacob A60 (a Solarforce M8 clone). The reason for my ordering it was the 55mm head over an XR-E emitter.

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/jacob-a60-cree-q5-3-mode-310lm-white-led-flashlight-w-strap-black-1-x-18650-114268?r=43033281

It came in a plain cardboard box, flattened inside the padded envelope, but still effective: the flashlight arrived in mint condition.

Machining is very good, no cutting traces, not even under a magnifier. Parts fit is perfect, the anodized threads run smoothly. Anodizing is on the glossy side, albeit over a roughly matted alu surface (the now common cheap-looking finish). Anodizing tone across various parts is uniform.

The reflector is plastic but optically good. The clickie rubber boot is very thin, which makes for a nice soft switching action, but boot durability is thus questionable. The emitter is an XR-E EZ1000.

Tail current draw on High goes from 1.7 to over 2A, depending on battery, thus almost twice the specified value. The driver is covered by a threaded retaining ring with a spring-loaded plunger (the axact same as in tailcaps). That looks like a quality design detail, but it may restrict drivers compatibility. I didn't take that apart to see how the retaining ring connects to the driver.

PWM on Med is high frequency. I had to shake my hand as frantically as I could for PWM to start showing.

Compared to my up-to-now favorite 100-150m range thrower (the UltraOK, C8 reflector, 1.7A, EZ900) the Jacob A60 throws a considerably wider and also brighter hotspot. Apparently, this large reflector isn't wasted on an XR-E emitter, quod erat demonstrandum, actually. The beam pattern is pleasing, similar to the UltraOK.

It's still a bit soon to say, but it seems that this flashlight will send to retirement all my other throwers:

- Uniquefire HS-802 (too small a hotspot for midrange use, some disturbing corona)
- Small Sun ZY-C10-S aspherical (a mighty throw, but ugly aspherical beam)
- Trustfire X9, XM-L (much too bright spill, hazy target image)
- UltraOK Tactical (very nice, but not unbeatable).

When I find the time, I'll do a new comparative lux reading of them all.

Edit: The hotspot hole in the DX picture is nonsense. It disappears at distances above 1m.

Edited by: agedbriar on 04/20/2012 - 15:33
garrybunk
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Finally!  Been waiting to hear about this one!  Sounds very similar to my Dongrui All-920.  How's the driver's "No Memory"?  Does it start in the next mode?  Any pictures?  Beamshots!  Beamshots!  Beamshots!  How's the pill/heatsinking?  You mention PWM on "Med" - does that mean the "Low" is more of a medium level output? 

-Garry

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agedbriar
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The light comes on on High if rested for 5min or more. After 4min or less it will be next mode.

Heatsinking seems pretty poor and those anodized threads in the pill-head connection don't help (but hey, they are fancy).

Yes, Low is pretty bright.

Lensman
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agedbriar, "- UltraOK Tactical (very nice, but not unbeatable)."

Do you mean this one? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120710615523?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=...

JohnnyMac
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Looks like a very nice light. I like that you can remove the head in one piece to switch to full on flood mode. Looking forward to beam shots.

agedbriar
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Yes Lensman, that's the one.

I replaced the stock plastic reflector with a standard C8 aluminium from Manafont, but other owners kept the original with no problems reported.

agedbriar
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The differences between the throwers I mentioned above are subtle and I'm not skilled enough to present them faithfully in beamshots, sorry.

Lensman
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Thanks Cool
I really like mine, too. Seems exceptionally well made for the price - I think I only paid about $12. Now you're tempting me with this Jacob A60..

agedbriar
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This is my third light in the $12-15 price range.

It's amazing how much flashlight you can get for that money today.

garrybunk
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It might be worth mentioning in your O.P. (maybe even thread title?) that this is a Solarforce M8 clone.  I just had to search around to figure out which Solarforce this was a clone of.

-Garry

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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Ok so will this Jacob A60 out throw the Small Sun ZY-C10-S?

Rick tells me that Small Sun is the baddest thrower for the money he knows of and that it will kick his DEFT's butt. 

Langcjl
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Looks like a nice true budget light. Reminds me of the old days, I like it.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

agedbriar
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Yes, it's a Solarforce M8 clone and in terms of machining quality it does it honor. It would be interesting to see an M8 version with the XR-E emitter.

I'll do some lux measurements, but I don't expect the Jacob A60 to out-throw Small Sun aspherical. I might compare them visually in the field tonight. Topping up the battery right now.

Huny74
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Thanks for the write-up!

I have one coming too but having placed my order last tuesday I will probably use it first in the next flashlight season Wink

A downer is that the reflector is plastic. Not that it is a bad thing per se, but it was advertised by DX as an aluminium reflector. (But then, if I liked to get what I had ordered I wouldn't shop at DX...)

One question: does your sample tailcap-lockout (not sure if this is even a verb) reliably?

agedbriar
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Well, I'm back from my excursion and here is what I saw (but my eyes have lied before).

At best focus, the Small Sun hotspot seems brighter, but is smaller. The emitter image makes the comparison a bit difficult. If I defocus the zoomer as required to enlarge the aspheric hotspot to the A60 size, the latter is unequivocally brighter. Now I really have to take luxmeter readings sometime soon.

Small Sun was drawing 1.33A, Jacob 1.75A. For the latter, I used one of my crappiest batteries, as I don't feel comfortable driving it harder than that, especially considering the poor heatsinking.

 

Re: Reflector.

I agree, an aluminium reflector would be nicer, although this one seems to do the job well. It's 50.4mm wide at the flange, 48.0mm at the cup (right below the flange) and depth is 45.0mm. All outer dimensions. Just in case someone knows where to get a matching alu one. I haven't searched yet.

 

Re: Tailcap-lockout

I just tried and seems to work fine. I never use that feature, so I can't speak about reliability, but I'm afraid I don't see the problem, at least not with regard to locking out

Huny74
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Thanks for the update, appreciated!

Re "reliability": With a tailcap that does not locked out securely there is a (very small) risk that the light accidently turns on when carried in a bag with other stuff inside, thus draining the battery. Happened to me once, and -of course- when I didn't carry any spares.

agedbriar
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Ah, I see now, but that shoudn't be a problem here. The oring exerts quite a bit of friction that should prevent the tailcap from turning easily when losened.

Your concern makes sense, though, since the switch is the softest I've seen.

Huny74
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I just hope my sample will be as good as yours. With DX you never know...

Thanks again!

agedbriar
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One more thing Huny74.

When you receive the flashlight don't be disappointed if the lens looks total crap and soap and water doesn't make it clean. I had to rub it very well with acetone to get it in shape. Must be some protective layer applied to the glass while being cut to size. It's the first time it happens to me.

Good luck!

Huny74
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No, no. That's only what DX is calling "coated glass lens" Big Smile

agedbriar
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Even surpassing spec data, like the current bit! Laughing

BetweenRides
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Thanks for the review, agedbriar. I had to pull out my M8 when I clicked on the link. Except for the shinier finish, pretty close to exact match in most details. That is a great price too.

agedbriar
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As promised, here are my lux readings, taken at 8m, luxmeter in Max-Hold mode.


61.3 kcd  Small Sun ZY-C10-S aspherical (1.37A)

59.5 kcd  Jacob A60 (1.75A)

47.3 kcd  UniqueFire HS-802 (1.60A)

40.6 kcd  UltraOK Tactical (1.75A)


As expected, the aspherical wins, but not by much and with a smaller hotspot and a less pleasing/useful beam. Note that I kept Jacob's current within reason by using a low-quality battery, as I don't want to overdrive it too much for now. Small Sun, on the other hand, got a Panasonic grey unprotected, and 1.37A is as high as it would go.

UltraOK was not at its best tonight. I already suspected that the original plastic reflector might have been better than the current alu C8 replacement, but didn't switch back yet. Anyway, the difference could only be small, undetectable to the eye in real use.

I apologize if I made the wait for Jacob even harder to some forum friends. Wink

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Well I'm going to buy one of these. 

Thanks. 

 

WastedNihilist
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Thanks for the info. I'm $15 poorer now.

Pulsar13
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Yeah thanks for making us want to spend more money. This forum is dangerous for the wallet. Laughing

agedbriar
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You are welcome, guys.

I looked up 'flashlightlens.com' for an UCL lens, but Jacob's size 50 x 1.9mm isn't available.

Just as well!  Tongue Out   With shipping, the UCL alone would amount to more than half the entire flashlight price.

 

I think I forgot to mention how delighted my daughter has been with that nice lanyard (I never use them).

Ledsmoke
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What a bargain this seems to be. I have my thrower needs somewhat covered but seeing this makes me wonder if I should try to mount a XR-E EZ 900 to my X8 and drive it at 1,8 A. Just for the fun of it and to see what Lux readings I can obtain.... Decisions decisions. 

Anyway super review. As others mentioned this is potentially bad for the wallet! LOL

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

agedbriar
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That's my plan with the X9! I already have a new XR-E EZ900 for the switch. Stock driver, pulling 1.8A with the XM-L installed, should work fine.

But now little Jacob needs all my loving care. Laughing

fishmaniac
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AB, how wide is the hotspot at 3 meters distance? Hows the overall light output?Thanks

garrybunk
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I was going to ask how wide the hotspot is at about 10 meters to compare to my Dongrui, but I guess I could compare at any distance.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

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NOTE: Now hosting my photos from my Google account. Post up if you can’t see them. Older photos hosted on Photobucket or Flickr may disappear (PM me if you want access to them).

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