All depends - hard to compare unless they have the same exact mod done, and I rarely do that . I don't see any reason they would differ significantly, in this case, it would come down to the aspheric optics, and they look about the same width. The 875 is a 20mm driver while this one is 22 mm, so the pill is wider. For the 875, for heat sinking I used 2 pennies - fit them well - perfect in diameter. This F3 has a pretty nice thick pill top and pennies are too small for it. Ideally, I would want to add some copper, screw down the MCPCB like I did on the 875, and use a 22 mm driver, or piggyback a 17 on it. I did move the stock LED + wire and upgraded the wires to 22 AWG and amps went up close to 4A on an Efest 35A cell, but I lost mode changing after a minute or two, as it heated up. Also, I upgraded to a XM-L2 T6 4D (from FT) - like the tint better than the 875.
I'm really not liking the mode spacing - way too close, the medium is over 50% and the low is probably ~30%, so I'd much prefer replacing the driver for my own use. I try to mod/post about the stock driver as much as possible to save others the cost/time/work, but this driver for me, has got to go.
Mine arrived today, from the BLF Deal Alert Thread. It is indeed a very nice medium sized 18650/3xAA zoomy. It’s bigger than the SK-73 or ZeusRay: thicker battery tube, wider head and lens and longer. Nice knurling. The head slides on two o-rings. Solid pill. Even thermal compound under the star, but it wasn’t spread out, probably because there were chunks of shavings all over the pill, probably including behind the star. I fixed that and switched positive driver outputs. It is most similar to a Smiling Shark SS-100 and others of that style, or even the CNQ Zoomy Host with Ahorton lens, with build quality in between those two. The focal length of the lens is also intermediate between those two.
I payed $6.90 and it lists on MyLED for $10.08, which is still a good deal.
Mine arrived today also and am quiet impressed at the quality for such a cheap light.
I would like to swap the + wire on the driver but I want to make sure I understand correctly where it goes. Does it go just to the left of that square thing with the 8 legs?
Yes. That looks the same as what I just did. The spider is the control unit. I unsoldered the red LED+ wire from the top left and soldered it to the pad to the left, in the picture, of the 8 legged IC. First, I checked that my cheap multimeter reads only around 0.2 Ohms between these two points.
I am a little confused and a newbie, is just moving the wire good enough as a simple mod?
Will the lights modes not work after the mod, or only if also upgrading the wire? Not sure what to make of these 2 statements.
“This is the style where you can easily bypass the current limiting resistors by moving the + LED wire to the pad on the left that is before the resistor bank Simple way to boost the amps. Mine went up from 1.52A to 2.2 or 2.5A on a better cell, keeping the stock wires. A very simple amp boost mod!! —>”
“Ok - got some more modding done, keeping the stock driver. I tried moving the + LED wire before the resistor bank and after upgrading to 22 AWG wires, and amps went way up, getting close to 4A, but in further testing, it would only work in hi mode after it heated up, then cools down - back to normal modes. ”
Welcome, I can only answer the first part, moving the wire was good enough for me, made a big difference, the modes are still in tact after the wire move. The light is just as bright as the zeusray now, just wish I would have bought a few more.
Thanks guys, I bought 2 recently and wish I had a few more for that price. Now all my previous flashlights seem like the batteries are dead, and of course I want more.
My buddy has a Streamlight TLR-1 HL that is rated at 630 lumens that blew me away camping.
How close am I with this one realistically (stock and moving the wire)?
What should I buy next that would be equal to or more than the Streamlight?
The Zues looks pretty good and I have more than enough batteries after learning that I could raid laptop battery packs. Too many actually as I have another 4 battery packs waiting for me to harvest. Already have 12 Panasonic cells and 4 others in a clearish red wrap. Everything so far has been a protected cell.
oh boy - 630 is rather pathetic . One of my ZeusRay's is like 1,400 lumens. 800-1000 for stock lights is getting more common, but that's with the more pricey brands. I got 18650 EDC lights doing 800-1200 lumens though - pretty common. Actually my modded MXDL 16340 light (~$5) does bout 900 lumens in a neutral tint .
I’m almost tempted to modify one of my 3 F3’s to a 22mm FET. I’d probably solder the LED to a noctigon, change out the switch, but keep the wires smaller for a little resistance. Should be a LED blower/hand warmer.
Modified this light last night with a 22mm DD + 1 7135 driver using the BLF-A6 firmware configured for the two steps on the OTC and 2 mode groups - nice! Measured an insane 6.5A at the tail on a fully charged LG HE2:
in full flood: 1,367 lumens @start, 1,200 lumens @30 secs
These #'s are somewhat low for 6.5A, but it is a 4D tint, and aspheric optics are usually higher loss's than reflectors/lens. It's still pretty awesome though, heats up pretty quick of course.
I didn't add any extra heat sinking, but did screw down the 16mm Noctigon to the pill top with brass screws.