cheap 1xAAA zoomie (short review)

Ordered this a few weeks ago:

Bought it HERE for just $3.44 (free shipping of course)

Decided to do an impression because I’m somewhat impressed by it, even though it has its flaws.
Here are some pics, which could have been better…
Non the less:

outer diameters: 16mm tube, 20mm head
length: exactly 85mm + 3mm protruding switch button = 89mm total length when zoomed out.
head travel: 10.5mm from zoomed in to zoomed out.
bezel opening: 15mm (takes a 16mm lens)

It has an actual alu pill that screws in the body!
Very nice for this price range
Also, the LED is not just a 5mm big dye strawhat but an actual SMD LED on a 13.XXmm alu base
…only it’s just held there by its wires, so there’s no thermal path to the pill worth mentioning…
And that is its first true flaw… :frowning:

The second true flaw is the lens…
It’s a spherical plano-convex lens.
And that’s a pity…
I took some beamshots, here’s four in a row:

In reality you immediately notice the donut projection, especially when zoomed half way, like the second one.
Even after enhancing it’s not so notable on the pictures as in reality…
Pic 1 to 3 shows zoomed out to zoomed in.
Picture 4 shows ‘overzoomed’ in.
Nice colour shifting going on…
No, the optics are not great…

Here’s an attempt to show colour comparison with an XP-G2 NW (from lck) which is somewhat slightly pinkish, yet up to now my favourite LED.

O, and look at the nice floody beam from that pebbled 25° TIR on the XP-G2 :heart_eyes:
The XP-G2 was running at low power in this shot.
The mini zoomie was zoomed to best spot of fairly homogenous light (same as 3rd pic above).

In all, a lot of light comes out of this tiny cheapie!
A lot more than your average MXDDL or SmilingShark or whatever brand they (don’t) put on it…
I didn’t think this was just because of the better LED they used, so I took a closer look at the driver:

Just one mode, but it’s a ‘real’ little driver!
It’s even got a black part with 6 legs! :party:

Did one measurement:
Tailcap current: 1.62A with a new alkaline (Topcraft)
Might well be near 2 Watts at the LED !

So, here’s the flaws:
> Wrong lens
> No thermal path from LED base

Wrong lens is the big pity, as there are no aspheric replacements in that size, as far as I can tell.
16mm is rare, apparently.
The LED can be pasted with thermal paste.

So, why do you still want it?
> Because there aren’t many tiny zoomies and it’s cheap enough.
> The build quality is quite good.
> It’s a flashlight.

(re-uploaded pictures nov 9 ’18)

If any of you has an idea for a 16mm aspheric f=>10mm lens, let us know!

I can get 18mm glass ones, would have to grind 1mm off the edge… Will get hot >> crack… :^/

There's hardly any AAA-zoomie around, so indeed thanks for the review.

This 15mm glass lens is more expensive than the light :

I have one: too small…
Bezel opening is bigger / as big as that…
I could grind down a SK68 lens to a 16 mm diameter, but that’s gonna be too thick, or at least unpleasantly thick, hard to fit…
I guess I could come up with 2 thin 16mm rings / washers to widen that 15mm lens…

I’m impressed that it has an actual pill for a cheapie AAA light. Neat.

Yes, a pleasant surprise.
I expected a plastic pill with a 3 part boost circuit (maybe 5 parts) and some 5mm LED, like most cheap mini’s have.