CNQualityGoods Zooming 1x18650 generic host (No longer available) and the Ahorton aspheric lens

When I received my zoom host from CNQ, Loading..., I noticed that it has a larger head and a narrower bezel ring than other 18650 zoomies such as the Sipik 73, but the same 28 mm. outer diameter aspheric with a wide flange and small usable lens area. Quite a bit of the flange part of the lens was visible, and this would clearly produce a ring of wasted or even bothersome light, rather than adding to the trow or forming a uniform spill. This made the host about useless, because I did not want to waste time and money completing a light from such a flawed host. Then I happened to notice the Ahorton lens.
About the right outside diameter and much more lens part.
As with the Yezl T9 and shorter focal length lenses, the bezel ring didn’t fit. Rather than just filing till it fit, I took my half round file and filed out the bezel ring till it was as large as the usable lens. As with the Yezls, it won’t nose stand and would make a mess if it hit a hard surface nose first, but I am very pleased with it. I am not really sure I want such a light, but it will be a fine medium sized zoomy when finished. The quality of the host is good, with no other major flaws. Brass pill, good anodized threads, etc. It clearly will be a much more versatile light than a P60 host with no zoom would be with the same lens, so it really seems that the usual use of this lens should be almost forgotten.

Looking at my other small 18650 zoomies, three of them, including the SK-73 and its clone, have very similar lenses. The difference is that the bezel rings are wider, so the wide flange doesn’t show. These also would benefit optically, at the expense of less ruggedness, from Ahorton lenses and filed bezel rings. However they would require more filing. Any sort of lathe would save a lot of time on those. I think I can protect the new lens on the SK-73 clone by swapping a deeper bezel ring onto it, if I want to spend two or more hours filing.

It dose not fit in a Smiling Shark SS-A100 Cree XM-L T6 1000LM 3-Mode Adjustable Focus LED, that says UltraFire on it, from Much unlike most of the other budget zoomies, the lens is held in by a shallow step, and the smaller Ahorton falls through.

I bought this one too and put 4A Nanjg 105C ( added 4 7135s ) driver in it coupled with 17mm XM-L2 U2 1A on noctigon, I love the flood on this light, much wider than most zoomie I have.
I also tried putting that Ahorton aspheric lens in it… no dice for me :_(
my favorite zoomie now although zooming it is a bit a hassle.

Yes, slide zoomies are much quicker. Twist zoomies must be better when waterproofness is important or where vibration would throw a slide zoomy off, like on a bicycle. The thinner longer focal length lens gives better flood without taking the lens off, and it does give a bit more throw, but in between there is less total light.

I want to experiment with putting XP-G2 S2 on noctigon in this light and see if it’s fare better than with XM-L2 U2
probably more throw but less brighter at flood :~

Nice lens!

Yes, I think an XP-G or even an XP-E or XR-E would out throw the XM-L, that is what is usually said anyway, but for pure throw there might be a lens better than the Ahorton, as that is fairly short focal length. Short focal length is generally preferred here because the gain in total light is more than the loss in throw, but the light distributions of these leds look something like cosine functions. It is hard to say for sure, but I think longer focal length does have better throw. What is clear is that larger lens area gives better throw. The lens from the 18650/3AAA light I have fits, has longer focal length and has an even wider active surface. When it came, it said UltraFire on it, and it seems to be typical of a common type.
Or you could use a light like the one above or a Yezl T9 with its original lens. There is also the question of whether to de-dome the led. With a lens, de-doming reduces total focused light, but it increases the throw. I think some people would prefer to de-dome an XM-L than to use a smaller led.
The Noctigon and higher current should help a lot.

I am looking at this light again. The pillar over the tail spring is brass. It slightly attracted a magnet, but I think it just has some nickel in the alloy. The brass pill also makes this tall magnet fall over when stood on end. The switch looks heavy duty, so I think that end only needs the spring braided. Battery space seems short, but I can file the aluminum piece, that hold the tail switch in, shorter, if needed. A 17 mm. driver fits nicely in the pill, after trimming the corners of the 7135s, but it doesn’t leave room for the retaining ring. I can solder it in, but that looses the designed maintainability. There seems to be room to stack 7135s two high inside the pill to get 12 x 7135. I am dedoming an old cold blue XM-L, from either the one that was supposed to be an SS-100 mentioned above or else from a similar Deal Alert light, that I put colored LEDs into.

Taking protected cells would at least require removing the brass pillar over the tail spring. Either the pill was designed for a one sided driver or else it was just made too short.
There are threaded holes in the pill to screw down the star. The ledge next to them is higher than the thickness of a regular aluminum star, so, rather than the old dedomed XM-L, I used one on Noctigon. It is a hair too thin but the screw head bends that much. I had a problem, here in the US, finding screws that fit. I ended up taking them out of an old bent pair of binoculars. It would be nice if they included them in the kit.
The light is very bright. I read 3.1 A on an IMR cell charged to 3.9 V. It warms quickly and cools quickly when shut off. The twist zoom is slower than a slide, but it transfers heat better and there will be times when I want it to stay in zoom.

I recommend this host, with the Ahorton lens. The quality of my example is better than that of typical lights in this price range. Lots of brass, tail unscrews, big switch, locks out when tail cap loosened, good finish, good fit. It is well suited to high current, and the Ahorton lens gives good optical efficiency. For more throw, one could use a longer focal length lens and a dedomed LED.

I now have my second host and lens.

The bezel ring will require filing, again.

Sometimes colored lighting helps to visualize three dimensional shapes.

The bezel ring is widened to the size of the active curve of the lens again, then trumpeted out not to interfere with the flood.

I had to fix an unusual defect in the OSHPark BLF17DD driver board from Mountain Electronics.

A thin strip of copper connected the positive and negative inputs. This is after scraping it away, but the same line is still visible (but with a break in it) on the left side of the positive vias.

This time the driver fit under the threaded ring and is retained by it. I had to file the positive LED pad to eliminate a short against the pill. The components on the back of the driver just fit inside the retainer ring.

Here is a beam shot of the two CNQs.

The first has an XM-L of unknown and very cool white bin and dome intact. The second one has an XM-L2 S6 7d3, dedomed in acetone. The batteries are different and in different states of charge.
The camera is set on daylight white balance and the wall has a pinkish tinge. Exposure is set for the middle of the picture. Notice that the lights are on.

It has six modes, and it drops from turbo to fifth after one minute. Both springs are braided. It flickered until I took apart the switch and cleaned it. The switch parts are not attracted by a magnet. The pillar over the tail spring is slightly attracted by a magnet but does not look like high nickel stainless, so it is probably a sort of brass with some nickel in it.

I am very impressed by the build of this budget zoomy. It is my only zoomy with uniformly good specification, design and workmanship. With the one exception that it seems to be designed for a lens that is not available. The lens that comes with it would be a serious limitation, and the Ahorton adds to the price and requires some patients or a lathe to make it work properly. In fact, the middle finger on my left hand is still slightly numb after the filing. The brass pill with screw holes to retain the star and threaded ring to retain the driver is way out of its price class. The screw focus is less convenient for some uses, but it improves the heat transfer from the body to the head.
There are more expensive and larger zoomies that might top this, but so far these two are my best lights. The Yezls are more beautiful to see and feel, but their quality is spotty.
The drivers of the two CNQs are comparable. I have not approached the current limit of the 12 x 7135s, so that is little different from direct drive. I may post current measurements later. The BLF17DD driver is more compact and simpler.

I’m reading this thread & updates with enthusiasm. Thanks.

Nice to hear that. I measured the tail current with a full Efest IMR and shortened meter leads. I got 3.85 A. It works fine and is my best large flashlight.

Here are the two CNQs, both dedomed now, and an unmodified UltraFire “IPX7” F13 XM-L2.

With two Panasonic NCR18650B (through the Panama Canal and back by land to the Pacific, from Fasttech) and a Keeppower protected 26650 5200 mAh (picked up in San Jose, from Illumination Supply), all fully charged. For CNQ #1, I read 2.9 A, for CNQ #2 2.7 A, and for the F13 1.5 A. The camera is set on daylight white balance and the wall is a bit yellowish.

I finally compared the flood of the two CNQ/Ahorton examples that I have built. The second one looks like it has a larger lens, but the floods are very close to the same. So optimal performance is reached by filing, or otherwise opening, the bezel ring inner diameter out to a cylinder that equals the diameter of the curved portion of the lens. It would fit together with less filing than that, but there would probably be some light loss.
Again, these are very nice lights. With the right lens, made to fit, these CNQ hosts are very nice, the best build of anything I have, and especially of any zoomies I have.

I needed a warm CNQ to replace the one I sent my brother. People say that the dice of XP-Ls more than make up for their smaller thermal pads. So I used an XP-L V3-5D from Fasttech.
I didn’t dedome it, because I read somewhere there was an air space under the dome, which would greatly change the effect of dedoming. The dome shape is not smooth. It is sort of frosted and has some pattern.

After putting it on Noctigon and finishing the light, I see that the LED image is around the same size as that of an XM-L with dome,

but the spots on the die are blurred

and the pattern on the dome shows a little when zoomed beyond where the die focuses.

I now have four Nichia 219Cs from Cutter “Cutter-NVSL219C-20-E5”. I replaced the dedomed XM-L in my first CNQ Host with one of them. It has a 12 x 7135 Qlite driver, which should regulate at 4.56 amps. I reflowed it onto as Noctigon and used some more Arctic Silver behind the star and more heat sink compound in the threads and over the back of the driver. It heats up like 4.5 A, much faster than #3 does.

CNQ #1 with 219C on left and CNQ #3 with warm XM-L2 on right:

The XM-L already drew more current than the XM-L2 did. The Nichia has a yet lower forward voltage at high current, so it may be in regulation. Its efficiency and tint are also better. On a fully charged cell, it is my brightest singe die light.