Chime in if you like SK98 (or similar aspheric) flashlights: a budget manufacturer help request

A friend of mine asked me to build him some red and blue SK98s recently, and a couple days ago an acquaintance of him showed interest in another white one. The red one is going to equip a top bin XP-E2 (XPEBRD-L1-0000-00902) with a Sofirn buck driver, and meticulous me is going to properly fill another ∅≈11.1 pill hole because red emitters are quite output heat sensitive. I also had to take a look at the tailcap switch and… well, UltraFire swapped his switch provider in the last months. A different sort of 13.5 × 11.8 × 9mm switch inside a different plastic pogo switch carrier, this means these 14.7 × 11 × 10mm switches (YonGT units received) no longer straight fit. Disturbing enough already for me to come back at FastTech and check out the available feedback for the amalgam of SK98 torches for sale there, and the quality range goes from junkyard all the way up to just irking, which is a shame: e-smarter one, e-smarter two, generic 975, UltraFake SH98, camo clone #1, camo clone #2, UltraFake SK98, UltraFake XD-98H, UltraFake SH98 Reloaded, UltraFake XD-98H Reloaded, and at last the above-mentioned UltraFire SK98.

What I mean is: How can a flashlight manufacturer expect any given model of flashlight to enjoy a sustainable level of sales with a corner cutting philosophy? I always mod these torches because of unnacceptably low quality or faulty stock design. This is a list of how it is meant to be done for a sufficiently well made SK98:

  • Strong threaded emitter holding ring. The UltraFire SK98 does good here but features poor anodization.
  • The UltraFire SK98 has an approximately 5mm wide, 2mm thick shelf under the emitter board. This is undesirable bad stuff. Whole disc floor under the emitter please, 2 to 3mm thick. No thicker to allow deep enough driver cavity. Inspiring pictures: and .
  • A proper switch, with proper strong spring instead of flimsy one plus brass cap. Some standard model would be nice, Omten or whatever.
  • Regarding driver at least some decent linear (LD-25 type on a 20mm board) can be pretty (PWM free), although I'll not complain much here if cost is a major concern already.

As an example, a Sofirn SF30 can be had for $10.52, featuring a roughly well heatsinked emitter (flatter and thicker floor would too do nice) and an at least decent tail switch, while Convoy S2+ (for example) flashlights aren't much more expensive and all of their parts are known good.

Hope some budget manufacturer comes and takes note (Sofirn?).

Sell it as a host pleeease.

Cheers ^:)

Aside from the easily fixable (by the mfr) dreaded “hollow pill”, a problem of the ’98 (and ’68) is the lousy thermal path. The head where the LED sits is shrouded by the lens+slider, riding on only a coupla O-rings. So heat has to make its way down the thinwall tube to those few fins and/or your hand before it even starts getting wicked away.

And yeah, I never really liked the come-with pogo-stick switch, either.

It actually rides on a single :-D o-ring. The thermal path ain't that bad, my EDC ODC SK98 features an XHP50 at up to ≈26W (4.175A), close to 30W maximum driver heat included, and I'd say it does away with heat surprisingly well. If the heat path were bad the emitter temperature would surely seriously ramp up in a cool remaining flashlight body to later catch up, but it definitively warms up progressively and the body doesn't becomes scorching hot after a while (so those fins definitively do their job).

Cheers ^:)

Speaking of the Sofirn SF30/ThorFire TA13 torches, these are my latest two chat messages with Sofirn in AliExpress:

Grrr with the fuck selecting text up feature. AliExpress is so annoying with that crap! :-(

That answer smells like “sorry but I don't have time to waste with your baloneys”. Hope I am wrong with this…

Cheers ^:)