Smallest budget RCR123A flashlight

When people look at my flashlightcollection, more often than not they sigh. Then I point at any of them and say "choose". Then there is light, and they are blinded. Inspired by E1320's moddingthread, I now want a new pocket rocket ;).

When choosing new flashlights, I tend to choose somthing that I have nothing like. I have a single warm-white P60 host, a 14500 zoomie, an aspheric R2 thrower, a super slim AAA TANK007 light and so on. But I want more, and I've figured out what it is that I absolutely, positively must have in my collection.

I already have a WF-501A powerhouse, but it's still quite large and bulky in my opinion. I want to find a very small RCR123A host that I can mod with a kick-ass driver and an XM-L LED. But what to choose, what to choose? I have already realized that the beam will be butt-ugly, since I want it short, but this is just meant to put out an insane amount of light - not throw several miles. It will also propably be a twisty, but that's no problem either. It will also be able to fry (very small) eggs in a matter of minutes, but again - I have no problem with this. So now I just need to find the host for my project.

Quark Mini 123: 58,4mm, and thus the shortest in the bunch. But at 39$ it's by no means budget.

ITP A1: 59,8mm, but still too expensive at ~33$. But definitely a light I'd consider for own EDC. [[edit: 25$ on eBay, making this a possible candidate?]]

Nitecore EZ CR2: 63mm. Okay, this is cheating. This isn't RCR123, but still a nice light. But also too expensive.

XTAR WK20: 63,5mm. At 35$, this is a very nice light/host, but unfortunately over budget.

Romisen RC-D6: 72,9mm. At 11,66$ it's very cheap and a quality brand(but possible a fake from DX?). One of my favorite candidates.

TANK007 M10: 69,55mm and 14$. Also one of my own favorite candidates. I have no idea how easy it is to mod, but I like the design very much. I still think that it's a tad long when I know that Quark is more than a centimeter shorter, and runs on the same battery, but how come there are no alternatives? Has Quark figured everything and hidden their secrets from the competitors? I want cheap budget alternatives to mod :)

I have also flirted with the idea of an Ultrafire A30 like E1320, but at 81,7mm, it's just longer than anyone would find pleasurable('that's what she said'). The Ultrafire WF-009A is only 68,6mm, but sold out at the moment unfortunately.

Any suggestions for other lights than the RC-D6 or M10, or any inputs on the quality of said lights? If anyone own a TANK007 M10 or RC-D6 I would looove some breakdown-pictures. Fire away people!

This is an easy one if want a small twisty light then get the Romison RC-C3. I have the Shiningbeam neutral emitter one, otherwise mine would have an XML in it. This is a really nicely built little light and very small.

Why should I choose the RC-C3 over the RC-D6? What is the difference between these two Romisons(other than about a mm and a few dollars). I look at the RC-C3(and D6), and it looks like a standard-size driver. I plan on installing the 8*AMC7135 from KD, so spring will probably need serious trimming to fit these super-small CR123A lights. What size LED star does it take?

A 16.5mm emitter will fit and up to 17.5mm on the driver. I just like it better because it has a pocket clip, if you want a magnet instead get the D6. I don't think you will need to trim the spring it looks like everything should fit fine.

I don't care for a pocketclip, so of those two I think i'll go for the D6(I assume that the head is the same = 16.5mm emitter and 17.5mm driver). I still have my eye on the M10, even though I don't know why I would. It seems like RC-D6 offers everything that the Tank007 has, except an excess length of 3mm(but cost 2.33$ extra for 3mm less). The Romison even has an OP reflector for extra flood.

Is it possible to go under 60mm length, while still maintaining a budget price tag? The ITP A1 looks nice for 25$, but looks like it will be a hell to mod. Even though I don't mind getting dirty, the easy 16mm emitter and 17mm driver swap on the Romison is quite attractive.

The Ultrafire WF-009A is available from bestofferbuy. Their an alright supplier, I've used them several times and I understand Admin got his Tank007 737 from there too. It seems the best candidate if you really are after a very small low budget piece to mod.

I don't know of anything smaller than the Romisen for under $20 bucks, plus it looks real easy to mod and the reflector should work good with an XML.

The nitecore ex-10

I'm with Boaz on this one! I just don't see a need to mod the ex10. It is a great torch! But in the spirit of this budget minded build I would go with either of the Romisons.

My old Tank M10 is a nice little body (it has the round tail, not the anti-roll one), but you do add 5-6mm if you choose to carry the magnet. I haven't gotten the head open, though, despite quite a bit of force, so I'm guessing there's glue/locktite in there somewhere.

Well, that does it.. I'm ordering the Romisen RC-D6, a 2.8A driver and a XM-L on a 16mm star(Think I'll spring for the U2, even though it's 2,79$ more. I'll need all the efficiency I can gain in this size light. More light => less heat ;)).

I was also around the EX10(too expensive) and the WF-009A(mixed reviews), but it sounds like I'll be happy with the Romisen. Now for the hard part(waiting, that is. Not modding).

Thanks for your inputs everyone. It's nice to know that a crazy cocoon idea in the middle of the night can turn into a beautiful well-lit butterfly by morning. Off to paypal with me.

Sorry I couldn't recommend it to you, it'd a damn fine little light and takes a heck of a beating.

Good luck, and remember: "If it's crazy, and it works, then it's not crazy"

Why not just buy a Quark Mini-X 123. Sure it's not a budget light ... but on the other hand it already has the driver and XM-L installed so you save probably $15 on having to buy a separate emitter and driver.

Supposedly the Mini-X on 16340 goes into direct drive on high mode. Around 500 lumens.

I believe that I have to remember that quote. It will be much needed.

At 50$, it's almost twice the amount I'll spend on the Romison, emitter and driver(27.94$ total).

It is ~13mm shorter, but I just can't justify that price difference for that length. That's over a dollar for each millimeter it's shorter.. It's also T6 - I ordered an U2 bin XM-L(with a driver that's made for 3.7V batteries). Don't get me wrong, I'm drooling over Quark Mini123, but it's just not in my price range. I'm also a fan of making a light my own, so if i went ahead and ordered the Quark, I'd probably just mod it anyway.

If only someone had made a cheap copy of it, with a crappy emitter and driver - it would definitively be the host for my mod.

I just want to get confirmation that a 17mm PCB will fit the Romisen RC-C3 as I am also attempting this mod. I was told by Bryan at Shiningbeam that the PCB in the RC-C3 is 14mm and the 17mm probably wouldn't fit. However, you seem pretty certain it WILL fit so I'm a bit confused. Thanks

Well, I can't speak for the RC-D3, but the RC-D6 is a horrible light for modding.

Takes a small driver(~14mm), small star and has virtually no heatsinking at all. Aside from a few grams of metal that the star is latched onto, the connection to the rest of the body goes either through a piece of plastic with threading. It's also a real b*tch to get the module with star, plastic and driver out of the light.

My light now lives with standard emitter/driver, and a non-rechargable CR123 battery as an emergency light.

Thank you VERY much! You saved me from buying unnecessary parts (although I would have found a home for them eventually). Hmmm.... back to the drawing board

Trustfire T2, $17. Last light on the right.

Troop ... he said smallest not biggest ;-)