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Thread: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

  1. #1

    Wink2 DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    This comparison is on the "wide projecting" 18650 offerings from dealextreme.com, both with SSC emitters.



    The contenders: on the left is new JYE Wide SSC T-bin currently offered for sale. On the right is the old Vika 12W luxeon III direct-drive that I've modded with a SSC U-bin from DX's competitor Kai (which seem the same as the DX models I've also bought).

    The "wide" descriptor is a little misleading, as these lights are actually among the best throwers that DX offers. But the wide reflector gives a wider (though dimmer) spillbeam than most lights.

    My original review of the lux III Vika is available here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...highlight=vika. I'm not going to do detailed pics of the JYE SSC since the two lights are basically identical, except for the tailcaps - the JYE SSC is raised so it can tailstand, and has a hole drilled for the included wrist strap (JYE SSC on the left, Vika on the right). The JYE SSC also has a slightly lower low mode than the Vika.


    The only other signficant difference (other than the labels) is that the battery tube won't unscrew from the head on the new JYE model. Which is actually a shame, since the Vika's tube was anodized on the threads at that end, so you could lock-out the light by a simple twist of the head.

    Here's a shot of two lights after my SSC-mod - can you spot the difference? No? The JYE SSC is on the left, the SSC-moded Vika on the right.



    And now the beam shots. Note that all the DX light shots use the same AW protected 18650 battery (3.7V, 2200mAh - old batch from last fall). Below is the original comparison of the stock Vika to a 3W LED upgrade on a 3D cell Mag.

    3W LED Mag on the left, focused for throw; stock Vika on the right


    As you can see, the Vika had similar throw to the Mag, with a slight increase in overall output (slightly brighter spill). Now compare the Vika after the SSC U-bin upgrade:

    3W LED Mag on the left; Vika with SSC U-bin star swap on right (Shutter 1/15, f2.8)


    Clearly a huge increase in overall brightness! According to my light meter, the SSC-mod on the Vika has increased throw by about 5%, but overall output has increased by >30% on initial brightness.

    How about comparison to the JYE SSC?

    Vika with SSC U-bin on left, JYE SSC T-bin on right (shutter 1/15, f2.8)


    Looks pretty much the same, doesn't it? According to my light meter, the overall output of the SSC-moded Vika is actually about 5-10% brighter than the JYE SSC on initial brightness, but otherwise seems pretty comparable. And that seems reasonable, given the higher U-bin on Vika mod. Note that the camera is exagerating the tint difference somewhat, but my JYE SSC is indeed a bit blue to my eye (I find the SSC-moded Vika to be very white in comparison).

    Runtimes are a little surprising. Below is the runtime graph for the lights, with the Y-axis being a relative light scale (my lightbox is a homemade milk carton setup, so no absolute values). The scale is linear - twice value means twice the overall output.



    So, while the direct-drive SSC-moded Vika is initially brighter than the JYE SSC, it drops off faster and eventually approaches the same brightness of the stock lux III emitter. However, it now runs almost twice as long! I haven't done current draws yet, but I'll try that next.

    Note that the JYE SSC seems to be somewhat regulated - the Vika is direct drive. The Vika (both before and after mod) tends to flicker slightly from time to time, and that shows up in the noisier graphs. Looks like it's time for some deoxit in there.

    Disclaimer: These DX/Kai SSC stars are U-bin and SWO colour bin, but don't seem to be Vf-binned, unlike some of the more expensive offerings available here. So YMMV when it comes to runtime - you could just as easily have less runtime, it seems to me. But I'll let others more knowledge about that comment.

    FYI, for those of you thinking of doing this Vika mod, note that the star+emitter needs to be raise slightly to get the focus right. As you'll see below, the star board is a lot thinner on these DX/Kai SSC stars (on the right). I used a 0.027" copper shim under the star, and it gave perfect focus.



    Conclusion: Well worth the minimal effort to do the star swap on this model. The JYE SSC is a good choice for a new purchase, with the bonus of being somewhat regulated. But nothing beats extra lumens and runtime on an existing light!

    Last edited by selfbuilt; 04-03-2007 at 05:22 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LA OZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    You sure have a lot of time on your hand. Thank you for the review. It will be useful for some CPF members.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* TOOCOOL's Avatar
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    Default Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    Nice review thanks

  4. #4
    Enlightened redledz's Avatar
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    Default Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    Very nice review!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    Quote Originally Posted by LA OZ
    You sure have a lot of time on your hand.
    Haha, I wish. I'm lucky if I have time to do one mod a weekend these days. If it turns out interesting, I try to post results here when I get a chance to prepare the images and text on a night during the week. For example, here's my MXDL 3W mod from the week before: MXDL 3W "Davida" upgraded to SSC - WOW!. So many more lights waiting on my shelf to get modded, though ...

    As for the JSE/Vika comparison, I took initial current draws at the tailcap with a freshly charged AW 18650 (same one from run tests):
    0.94A on the JYE SSC
    1.11A on the Vika-SSC mod

    [EDIT: Corrected current draws on 10A DMM mode]
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 04-07-2007 at 08:09 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  6. #6

    Default Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    What kind of multimeter do you have? You want something like a 10 amp scale. A cheap multimeter and/or a lower scale will have too much resistance and will give you a false current reading.
    And nice test btw. I am suprised that the vikka did not gain even more in overall output from the stock lux III. Sounds to me like your u bin ssc has a vf on the high side.

  7. #7

    Default Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    Quote Originally Posted by vinsanity286
    What kind of multimeter do you have? You want something like a 10 amp scale. A cheap multimeter and/or a lower scale will have too much resistance and will give you a false current reading.
    And nice test btw. I am suprised that the vikka did not gain even more in overall output from the stock lux III. Sounds to me like your u bin ssc has a vf on the high side.
    That did it - I wasn't running it on the 10A scale before. The current draws make a lot more sense now (updated previous post).

    Yeah, I was a little surprised at the limited brightness increase as well. But the Vika was the brightest luxeon light I own, and it always seemed to me it was driven too hard (my over-driven 4W VB-16 was a distant second). And besides, nearly twice the run-time is a pretty good trade-off.

    Nevetheless, my good Vf-bin USWOH and USVOH emitters from PhotonFanatic will be going in all my higher quality lights. But these cheaper USWO from Kai/DX are still fine for the cheaper lights I bought from them in the first place.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Bror Jace's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: DX shootout: JYE Wide SSC vs Vika Wide with SSC mod

    I ordered a "Vika" from DX and an "Eileen" from Kaidomain. As pointed out above, these lights seem identical to the casual viewer ... except for the tail clicky.

    I really love the Eileen ... wider spot with more spill, but the two tints are about the same ... VERY white light with just the slightest bluish tint.
    --- Bror Jace

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