Review: Cyclone C88 NW (3 x AA / 1 x 26650)

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_the_
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Review: Cyclone C88 NW (3 x AA / 1 x 26650)

Cyclone C88 NW

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★

 

Summary:

Battery:  3 x AA or 1 x 26650
Switch:  Reverse Clicky
Modes:  3 (Low, Med, High - With memory)
LED Type:  Cree XM-L T6
Lens:  Glass (2mm)
Tailstands:  Yes 
Price Payed:  $45
From:  Intl-Outdoor.com
Date Ordered:  March 2012

 

Pros:

  • Supports AA batteries -> good also for people afraid of Li-ion (read: non-flashaholics)
  • Supports also 26650 -> good also for flashaholics
  • Throws well
  • Tailstands well
  • Available as Neutral White
  • No visible PWM
  • Three well spaced modes (NO disco modes!)
  • Glass lens
  • Emitter perfectly centered with plastic spacer (And so is the tail switch!)
  • Good build quality

Cons:

  • Pill is much smaller than in original C88 (but works surprisingly well!)
  • Ringy beam (bothers only when white wall hunting)
 

Features / Value: ★★★★

The light comes with a lanyard, but no other accessories are included.

Main feature in being a thrower, but still supporting AA batteries. Good gift and/or suitable for turning your friends to flashaholics!

Other features are pretty normal: Three well spaced modes (NO disco modes!) with working memory. Reverse clicky switch works well in multi-mode light and feels very solid.

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★

Design is very good. Not aggressive at all, no tactical nonsense. Small enough size to be jacket-pocketable. Feels very solid in hand. 3 x AA side-by-side makes the length small enough, without being too thick.

Bezel is smooth (Foyzeled) and body is pleasantly shaped. I like it very much.

 

The light was not very easy to take apart. After the trial and error I noticed that the pill is press-fit and can be taken apart by freezing the light and heating the body or just knocking from inside with a suitable pipe..

Everything taken apart.

 

 

The pill looks good, but is actually quite thin. It is however press fit to body with 5mm of contact and does it's job well. That can be seen in the runtime / temperature chart below.

 

 

Here we can see the pill attached to the body. Note the plastic ring around the emitter, helping the reflector to remain perfectly centered.  

 

Here with the reflector attached.

 

The threads were smooth and well lubed. O-ring felt tight as well.

 

The machining & anodizing look great. Nothing to complain. Even the nowadays necessary web address is small and unnoticeable:

 

Tail switch felt really good and disassembling the tail cap prove that it looks good as well.

 

3 x AA battery holder feels "just ok". Not the greatest thing available, but seems to work well.

 

Some measurements:

Length: 147.7mm

Head diameter: 49.1mm

Body diameter: 37.8mm

Weight: 310g with 3 x AA cells (= ready to use), 297g with 1 x 26650, 210g without

 

And same + some more dimensions as photos:

 

And the bottom line in the quality: Machining is near perfect, anodizing flawless, everything screws in smoothly, plastic spacers to ensure that parts will stay centered. All in all: Very good!

 

 

Battery Life: ★★★★

Good.

I measured the current draw to be 0.08A, 0.53A & 1.78A with Eneloops and 0.11A, 0.83A & 2.76A with 1 x 26650. That is roughly 4% -> 30% -> 100%, meaning that the modes are quite perfectly spaced.

As the AA might mean alkalines to some people, I also tested it with cheap IKEA alkalines and it "Seems to work": TC currents are steady 0.11A on low and 0.68A on med. On high it starts from 2.20A, sags quite quickly to 2.00A and goes slowly down from that, BUT still stays on high and doesn't flicker.

 

Tested runtime was 1h 25min on high with Eneloops. See the graph below:
 

Note how the light handles the heat very well, despite of the thin pill.

I started a similar runtime test also with 26650, but I haven't created the graph yet. Sorry about that. So far I can say that the light runs fully regulated on 26650 and the heat raised quickly to about 60 degrees Celsius (ambient temp was about 25 degrees).

 

Light Output: ★★★

The tint is very good and there is NO visible PWM!!

Beam is good in real life, but quite ringy when hunting white walls. This can be seen in the following beamshots.

 

High mode (ISO80, 1/320s, f/4, WB: Daylight)

 

Beam angle (ISO80, 1/160s, f/4, WB: Daylight)

 

Outdoor beamshots prove the thing noticed in tailcap currents: It is a bit brighter with 26650:

High (3 x AA)

 

High 26650

 

Mouse out 3 x AA, mouse over for 26650

 

Compared to Shadow TC6 NW LOP (mouse over for Cyclone 26650)

 

Compared to Fenix TK41 (mouse over for Cyclone 26650)
 

 

Summary: ★★★★

Very nice thrower for either non-flashaholic (3 x AA) or flashaholic (1 x 26650). Feels good in hand and fits in you jacket pocket.

Highly Recommended!

 

The End (pun intended).

 

Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!

=the=

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:54
jacktheclipper
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And great photos .

And mouseovers .

What I do

 

garrybunk
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Thanks _the_!  Great review!  Appreciate your efforts!  Great beamshots too!

-Garry

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

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BetweenRides
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Great review _the_! Thanks for posting.

fishinfool
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Awesome review _the_! 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

sb56637
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Thanks very much for the review! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

I like the 3xAA or 1x26650 option. Nice form factor.

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

vēer
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Great! Thanks for sharing!

weiser
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Thanks for that particular photo! I was trying to identify a certain graphic or etching in one of the photo's sent from a manufacturer and now I know what it is! I was curious if it was just coincidental they happened to manufacturer the exact same design or if they are indeed the manufacturer. Man, they are very good at keeping secrets because I've asked on a few lights already Silly  

 

It was shot from the top looking down from the tail cap to the head. I couldn't tell if it was three lines of writing or a logo. What's interesting is they described the pill to me as the beefier, threaded one found in the older C88. I wonder if they originally designed that one and Intl-outdoor ordered this smaller pill for the Cyclone. 

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I'm glad you put this up, _the_.

I've been putting off my review of the Cyclone.  I've had mine a week and here's the thing . . . . I don't think I'm assuming too much by reminding everybody that the Cyclone happened (perhaps? . . . in part?) because E1320 turned the UltraFire MCU-C88 (or the idea of) into one of the most respected flashlights on this forum.  When my Cyclone arrived I was immediately prejudiced and complete honesty has been difficult.  It's kind of a loyalty thing because I've had so much fun doing new builds with Erik (C88, JM05, drop-in successes/failures) I feel rather defensive of the original C88.

The truth is; the Cyclone does the "original" C88 proud.

_the_ got 2.76 amps with a 26650 (I got 2.79) and while that is roughly .70 amp less than the E/C88, the output difference is almost worth mentioning.  The Cyclone swallows a King Kong and tightens up without spacers between head/tube and tube/tail cap and the tint is better - two things about the original I happily tolerated because it is such a damn fine flashlight.

The original is (a little) brighter and there are other subtle differences.  I must admit however, somebody did thier homework and while I was prepared to snub this "copy," I'm forced to concede that the Cyclone is nearly everything that is awesome about the E/C88, but without a couple of its shortcomings.

 

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jamio
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Thank you for this review _the_! Very detailed description and great pictures!!

jamio
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Foy thanks for comparison! Your review of E-C88 made my decision to buy the Cyclone so I've been waiting for this!

xerics65
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So it will output the same amount of light with the Utrafire UF 980l?

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Great review, but I noticed that the sky has different brightness levels in the mouseovers.... I assume the camera did some sort of brightness adjusting there? Or did you take the pics during sunset?

_the_
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Vectrex wrote:

Great review, but I noticed that the sky has different brightness levels in the mouseovers.... I assume the camera did some sort of brightness adjusting there? Or did you take the pics during sunset?

Thanks!

I already explained the differences in another thread, but shortly: It was soon after the sunset. So the brightness of the sky did change a bit. Another factor was the bypassing traffic, but neither of them did affect the brightness of the house or river.

Camera wasn't adjusting anything anything, as can be seen from the EXIF data. (I always keep the EXIF data in my photos for others to study and learn)

=the=

 

Wavefront
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Great review, I have just received my Cyclone 88 and am very happy with it.

As for throw , I notice that mine, on king kongs, throws about the same as the Keygos KE 5, with a similar beam pattern.

The original Ultrafire C88 does throw slightly further than the cyclone, but obviously a much tighter beam.

I love the versality of AAs as well as the long lasting 26650

Foy
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xerics65 wrote:

So it will output the same amount of light with the Utrafire UF 980l?

Probably not.  The 980L might be a bit brighter (raw lumens) but I speculate that the Cyclone will out throw it.  Didn't mean to barge in on this thread . . .

 

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I am curious, i am considering ordering this light, but i’ve been spoiled by adjustable beam lights, if i don’t like the throw pattern, can the reflector be replaced, are there compatible ones out there?

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jamio
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hmm, I would also like to know if there is compatible reflector for C88 available