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Thread: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

  1. #1

    Red face Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    UPDATE 11/27/07: I'm sorry to say, I can no longer recommend this light. Based on the responses in this thread, it seems DX is now shipping completely different lights under the same name. Not only is build quality varying widely, but so is output and runtime. One user even reports receiving a C3 light with the old inefficient 5-stage circuit! At this point in time, it seems to be a complete lottery what you are in for.


    This thread is a quick comparison of the new multi-stage Ultrafire C3 compared to the previous single-stage version

    For a comparison review of the higher-end 1AA lights, please see my new:
    Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!


    The contenders:

    From left to right: Single-stage C3, 2AA extension tubes, Multi-stage C3


    As you will notice, the new multi-stage C3 is a little taller, and the tailcap switch is now recessed allowing tailstanding. The new 2AA extension tube is slightly shorter than the previous one, but still fits on both models (screw threads and diameters are the same on both lights).

    Beamshots:

    In 1AA format, on Hi with Sanyo 2500mAh NiMH, as my Duracell 2650mAh wouldn't fit.




    Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's FR.com method. My relative overall output numbers are typically similar to his, although generally a little lower. You can directly compare all my review graphs - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another.

    Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 1m using a light meter.

    Summary Chart for 2500mAh NiMH



    Runtimes:

    For runtimes, I've added the new Jetbeam C-LE v2.0 for comparison purposes, as its features and circuit design seem similar to this light.

    "Hi" mode on NiMH (Sanyo 2500mAh)


    Hi/Med/Lo modes on Alkaline Duracells



    2AA Hi mode on 2500mAh NiMH


    14500 (AW Protected) on Fenix L1T body tube (C3 tube too narrow for protected cells)
    Note: 14500 is not recommended in this light, as you may fry your emitter or circuit due to the high output


    3AA Hi mode on 2500mAh NiMH
    Note: I do NOT recommend you try this, as it requires additional conductive spacers to allow the batteries to make contact when using 2 extension tubes. As you'll see, output is similar to 14500, but with much longer runtime. Frankly, I expect you are at even greater risk of destroying your light this way


    General observations:

    PWM: The new C3 uses PWM for lower modes, measured at a respectable 297Hz, which is not noticeable to me in everyday use.
    Memory: The new C3 lacks a dedicated memory mode of last setting used, instead the light cycles through settings in the following initial sequence: Med - Lo - Hi - Strobe (7.3Hz) - SOS, repeating. However, once the light has been off for ~3.5 mins, it resets to the original initial sequence (i.e. comes on Med and cycles from there).
    Interface: You can soft-press or click on/off to change modes (or, for that matter, simply twist head on-off to cycle). Light remembers last mode and moves to next mode any time the current flow is interupted and restored. Switch is difficult to soft-press given its recessed nature and poor tactile feel (see below for a discussion), but it doesn't matter much since clicking works as well as soft-pressing to advance the state.



    Single-stage C3 on top, multi-stage C3 on bottom:


    Build Quality

    Unfortunately, build quality has decreased noticeably from the single-stage version is many ways.
    • As you can see in above pics, anodizing arrived chipped on the face near the CREE logo. Anodizing is more matte finish and seems less substantial than original single-stage.
    • Machining seems a lot rougher, and you'll notice that the flat areas for the logos are somewhat irregularly shaped. Knurling on the body is far less agressive, and is barely raised in places.
    • Lettering and logos are poorly imprinted compared to the original C3.
    • The tailcap on mine arrived defective, causing the light to flicker on all modes. A replacement is en route, but in the meantime I used the superior clicky that came on the single-stage C3 for all runtime tests. The new recessed switch allows tailstanding, but is actually harder to activate (and much easier to soft-press on the old clicky as well).


    Output
    • The original single-stage C3 gave identical output in 1AA/2AA/14500 modes, with improved regulation and runtime improved on 2AA.
    • New multi-stage C3 on Hi is considerably dimmer than the single-stage on 1AA, but noticeably brighter in 2AA modes (which is most welcome). Hi mode on 14500 is very impressive - among the highest output I've seen
    • Medium and Lo modes are actually set to appropriate relative levels (I would estimate 40% > 10% > 100% sequence), unlike many of inexpensive 5-mode circuits DX/Kai sell where the Lo is still too high.
    • Interestingly, on 14500 the single-stage C3 runs longer and at a higher output level than the C3 multi-stage on Med.
    • Although the multi-stage C3 output on 1AA is lower than the Jetbeam C-LE by ~20% or so, the increased runtimes are very impressive.


    Conclusion:
    • A significant upgrade to the Ultrafire C3 head, with 1AA performance that approaches the higher-end JetBeam C-LE (minus the last state used memory), although fans of the high output of the single-stage C3 will be disappointed by the 1AA output.
    • Ability to run 2AA for greater output is welcome.
    • Output on Hi on 14500 or 3AA (with 2 extension tubes and a battery magnet for contact) is insanely bright (note: my protected 14500s won't fit in the C3 body tube, needed to use L1T body). Long-term stability on 14500 or 3AA is unknown, but there is concern you will blow your circuit or emitter if you try this - buyer beware!
    • Build quality has decreased in several ways, but is probably still minimally acceptable for many users, assuming tailcap switch is functioning properly.
    • A good upgrade for existing C3 users looking to replace the head with a multi-mode circuit.
    • The poor man's C-LE?


    Cheers!
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 01-17-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Added 14500/3AA runtimes
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* bessiebenny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Great review as always. =)

    They have significantly increased the running time in favour of the output in single AA it seems. Well, I guess for some, this is a great plus. But you do lose the extra long running times of the older single mode C3 when using 2 x AA batteries. Win some, lose some eh. hehe. At the end, single mode version still sounds better in my books.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by bessiebenny View Post
    But you do lose the extra long running times of the older single mode C3 when using 2 x AA batteries. Win some, lose some eh. hehe. At the end, single mode version still sounds better in my books.
    Very true - FYI, I just updated the main post with a graph of the 2AA mode. It certainly doesn't look like the best trade-off, given the rock-solid regulation the single-stage had on 2AA.

    Still, I think this multi-stage light is certainly more versatile now for most people. But those looking for a single super-bright 1AA (or long-lasting medium-bright 2AA) will need to look elsewhere (or stick with the original ).
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Hey :0 ive been here for a while but this is my fist post.

    Um..looking at your table the 5mode C3 with 2xAA has huge output and throw (even higher than the ones you reviewed in the Multi-State 1AA review). Does that mean that this C3 is substantially (or visibly) brighter than those?
    Also...would it be possible to get comparison shots of 2xAA vs 1xAA vs old c3?

    I'm still waiting for my 5mode C3 which was ordered on the 10th :\.

    I think i'll be using this C3 as a 2x AA and getting another one for 1x AA use...
    Would you recommend the MTE rebel0100 or.. MTE SSC? or any other cheap (<$20) 1x AA light?
    haha...oh and btw... since the MTE rebel has a plastic reflector... would this fit instead?
    http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Produ...px?TranID=3317

    (yes...i'm new to led flashlights)
    Last edited by kenzo; 10-30-2007 at 11:19 PM.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Thanks, this seals the deal for me.
    Off the buy the old single stage one....

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* bessiebenny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by kenzo View Post
    I think i'll be using this C3 as a 2x AA and getting another one for 1x AA use...
    Would you recommend the MTE rebel0100 or.. MTE SSC? or any other cheap (<$20) 1x AA light?
    haha...oh and btw... since the MTE rebel has a plastic reflector... would this fit instead?
    http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Produ...px?TranID=3317

    (yes...i'm new to led flashlights)
    For 1 x AA use, MTE Rebel100 is significantly brighter than the MTE SSC. (I have MTE Rebel/SSC/C3)
    But MTE SSC does have a cleaner/smoother beam which can be a plus for close up work.

    fyi - if you invest some dosh on CR123A batteries and charger, you will be able to get MUCH brighter lights which are not any bigger.
    It is as little as $5 for 2 x CR123A rechargeables and $5 for charger. (But I guess not everyone just looks for "bright" lights, so it's up to u)

    BTW, all MTE lights have head glued on at the thread. It's not very easy to take off and can damage it trying.
    Also, you won't get that much difference by going to aluminium on that light. So it probably won't be worth it imo.

    Check my budget round-up review thread in this forum for the current range of "best" budget lights to get. (not as technical as selfbuilt's =P)
    Last edited by bessiebenny; 10-30-2007 at 11:57 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Oh yeah, seeing as supplying it with 3.0volts increases brightness, would a 14500 also work on this AND make it brighter? (or will it just burn it).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    I just got 2 of the single stage C3's, and your results make me pretty happy that I opted for the 1 stage.

    Can you double check your curves? Is the runtime curve of the 1AA single stage light about the SAME (i.e. very flat) with an alkaline as with a NIMH - which is what your curve shows? If this is so, this would be STUNNING to me - it means the inexpensive single stage C3 beats just about any other 1AA light made for regulated alkaline battery performance. I'd probably go get more.

    BTW, mine C3s had contact issues when using the 2xAA tube. Basically the end of the extension tube was too short to contact the switch properly. I fixed this pretty easily by inserting a ring of paper clip wire into the tailcap to bridge the gap so now it works fine, but it did require a fix...

    Once fixed, both are great lights.

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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    I got mine a week ago and i use it with another 1xaa Adaptor from the 1st generation C3 and i have a C3 3xAA multimode!
    You will have to use progold and some teflon tape to make sure that tubes connect each other fine.
    With 3xAA it is brighter than 2xAA!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    so it can take 4.5 volts :0
    hmm..i might consider investing in 14500s then @"@
    does anyone know if protected ones fit? or do i have to use unprotected?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by kenzo View Post
    so it can take 4.5 volts :0
    hmm..i might consider investing in 14500s then @"@
    does anyone know if protected ones fit? or do i have to use unprotected?
    Well wait, i didn't used 3xAA alcalines but 3xaa nimh freshly charged batteries. Total about 4,2V max. I don't know if it can take more, but on 3 nimh it is a great choice!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by kenzo View Post
    looking at your table the 5mode C3 with 2xAA has huge output and throw (even higher than the ones you reviewed in the Multi-State 1AA review). Does that mean that this C3 is substantially (or visibly) brighter than those?
    Yes, my output and throw scales are the same on all reviews, so the 2AA version the multi-mode C3 is brighter than any of the 1AA lights I've reviewed. Note that it is still not as bright as the Cree/Rebel Fenix 2AA lights (nor as well efficient in terms of output/runtime).

    Would you recommend the MTE rebel0100 or.. MTE SSC? or any other cheap (<$20) 1x AA light? haha...oh and btw... since the MTE rebel has a plastic reflector... would this fit instead?
    As bessiebenny pointed out, the MTE heads are all glued, so IMO you are better sticking with the C3. I don't have the MTE SSC, but my MTE R100 is not as bright as my MTE Cree (which is surprising, since I suspect my MTE Cree is only a P4). Plus my MTE R100 has a pretty hideous beam and huge tint shifts on various modes. Output/runtimes are given in my main 1AA review thread: Rebel, Cree, SSC Multi-Stage 1AA Review: RUNTIMES and BEAMSHOTS
    I'll update that thread with these numbers soon ...

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdgineer View Post
    Can you double check your curves? Is the runtime curve of the 1AA single stage light about the SAME (i.e. very flat) with an alkaline as with a NIMH - which is what your curve shows?
    Ooops - my bad - that was indeed the NIMH curve shown on Hi alkaline. Just fixed it with the right curve, and as you will see performance on alkaline is not so hot on the single-stage C3. Sorry about that!

    BTW, mine C3s had contact issues when using the 2xAA tube. Basically the end of the extension tube was too short to contact the switch properly. I fixed this pretty easily by inserting a ring of paper clip wire into the tailcap to bridge the gap so now it works fine, but it did require a fix...
    Your point about contact issue is well taken - although mine works as is, I can see tolerances are such that many may need to modify either the head or tailcap. A copper or aluminum ring works well (never tried a paper clip before), although you might also be able to get by by slightly unscrewing the tail switch retaining ring. As always, YMMV ....

    Quote Originally Posted by ergotelis View Post
    Well wait, i didn't used 3xAA alcalines but 3xaa nimh freshly charged batteries. Total about 4,2V max. I don't know if it can take more, but on 3 nimh it is a great choice!
    Interesting - I know the single-stage can take 14500, but there was no mention of it on the multi-stage description, so I was hesitant to try it. Your results would seem to suggest that 14500 should be doable, based on voltage range - but no guarantees it would be stable or not potentially fry the circuit. Given that this light outputs more at higher voltage, I would be worried about heatsinking and stability on 14500.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-31-2007 at 06:59 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post

    Interesting - I know the single-stage can take 14500, but there was no mention of it on the multi-stage description, so I was hesitant to try it. Your results would seem to suggest that 14500 should be doable, based on voltage range - but no guarantees it would be stable or not potentially fry the circuit. Given that this light outputs more at higher voltage, I would be worried about heatsinking and stability on 14500.
    I have already used the flashlight with 3xAA for over 3 hours each of the last 2 days. It is very practical and long lasting. No heat problems(it gets hot but not that much, just hot like most flashlights) and circuit works flowlessly. If i get a fail in use i will inform you. But till now still going with no problems!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by ergotelis View Post
    I have already used the flashlight with 3xAA for over 3 hours each of the last 2 days. It is very practical and long lasting. No heat problems(it gets hot but not that much, just hot like most flashlights) and circuit works flowlessly. If i get a fail in use i will inform you. But till now still going with no problems!
    Thanks for the info ergotelis, sounds promising. Unfortunately, none of my protected 14500 batteries will fit in any of the tubes. However, the diameter and screw threads of the head are compatible with the original Fenix L1T body (although it won't screw down as far as the Fenix head, it will make contact with the body).

    So, in the interest of science, I'm currently doing runtimes of the C3 multi-stage head on protected 14500 in a L1T body. What I can say so far is that output on Hi significantly exceeds 2AA mode (at least >30% brighter), and even more so on lower modes.

    Let's hope I don't blow the circuit ....stay tuned!
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic* rizky_p's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    i wonder how one would measure frequency that this flashlight uses i want to measure mine as well And a 3xAA Nimh runtime would be excellent

    Thanks
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, detailed pics!

    Ok, 14500 results just added to main post. For those of you too lazy to scroll up:



    Very interesting so far. Multi-stage C3 is insanely bright on 14500, similar output and runtime to my brightest 14500 light: the DX Dexlight X.1.

    Single-stage C3 is once again shows similar output between 1AA/2AA/14500 modes, but very impressive runtime on 14500. You'll note that the multi-stage C3 on Med has both lower output and lower runtime than the single-stage C3.

    Low mode is still pending, won't have time until tomorrow - it is Hallowe'en after all! .
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Quote Originally Posted by rizky_p View Post
    i wonder how one would measure frequency that this flashlight uses i want to measure mine as well And a 3xAA Nimh runtime would be excellent
    Hi rizky .. EngrPaul develop an excellent thread on this topic here:
    >>> PWM Frequency List <<<
    If you scroll down through the various postings, you will see a more senstive method than the DMM one Paul originally described (using your soundcard and some software).
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Great review as usual, thanks selfbuilt! On 14500 high mode it looks like it is almost as bright as P2D R100. Impressive.
    Last edited by jirik_cz; 10-31-2007 at 03:16 PM. Reason: debug

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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Great review.

    I own a couple of these and wanted to point out that if you leave the light off for a few minutes it will "reset" and the next time you turn it on it will be in "Medium" output mode.

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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    I'd love to see how this puppy runs on Lithiums. & Looking forward to the rest of the runtimes. Thx again!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonky View Post
    I own a couple of these and wanted to point out that if you leave the light off for a few minutes it will "reset" and the next time you turn it on it will be in "Medium" output mode.
    Thanks for the heads-up Bonky ... I just tested mine, and it does the same thing as long as you give it ~3.5 mins in the off state.

    Interesting feature - hadn't noticed before due to all the short-term testing. Just updated the main post with the info. Thanks!

    As for runtimes, I'm only planning on adding the low mode on 14500 and alkaline to the above graphs. A few too many other lights I'm working on right now.
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  22. #22
    Flashaholic* rizky_p's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Hi rizky .. EngrPaul develop an excellent thread on this topic here:
    >>> PWM Frequency List <<<
    If you scroll down through the various postings, you will see a more senstive method than the DMM one Paul originally described (using your soundcard and some software).

    thanks and Excellent review, very detailed
    Could you do a 3xAA Ni-Mh test i wonder how long will it last?
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  23. #23
    Flashaholic* bessiebenny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Japanese flashlight site has reviwed the 5 mode light also and apparently some people there has burnt their driver after using the 14500 and now recommends people to not use it just incase. Hmm.

    Here's their testing results. Values are in lux @ 1m throw.

    C3 ☆CREE 5-Mode / C3 ☆CREE (1-Mode)
    1 x AA - 792 1164
    2 x AA - 1672 1204
    14500 - 2082 1558
    Last edited by bessiebenny; 11-02-2007 at 02:37 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500 ADDED): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, pics

    Quote Originally Posted by rizky_p View Post
    thanks and Excellent review, very detailed
    Could you do a 3xAA Ni-Mh test i wonder how long will it last?
    Ask and you shall receive (sometimes) ... just updated main post with runtimes on 3AA.

    As you'll see, you get the same initial output as 14500, but with 3X the runtime.

    Quote Originally Posted by bessiebenny View Post
    Japanese flashlight site has reviwed the 5 mode light also and apparently some people there has burnt their driver after using the 14500 and now recommends people to not use it just incase. Hmm.
    Thanks for the warning bessiebenny.

    I have to agree, the amount of light output on 14500 or 3AA is extremely bright. Unless this light has massive heatsinking, I doubt it will survive long in these formats.

    I've added a few warnings to the first post ...
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    NICE NICE, thanks for the mountain of effort to make it happen.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    Thanks for the nice review.
    I just wonder:
    I ordered a single-stage and a multi-stage C3 on 23rd - received them yesterday.
    I didn't make any comparisons in output or runtime yet - but on first look I can say:
    They look both exactly the same.
    The multi-stage has the same tailcap as the single stage (the 'old' one-no tailstanding), the same extension tube and the built quality is just as well.
    You really can't tell one from another by looking at them...

    Have they changed something?

    Has anyone else just received such a 'different' multistage C3?

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  27. #27

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromschlag View Post
    They look both exactly the same.
    The multi-stage has the same tailcap as the single stage (the 'old' one-no tailstanding), the same extension tube and the built quality is just as well.
    You really can't tell one from another by looking at them...
    Then count yourself lucky, as the original single-stage C3 definitely had the best build quality of the two I've received!

    Seriously, DX and their suppliers change factories quite a bit. This isn't the first time I've seen different builds (sometimes drastically so) all with the same ultrafire model number. One batch is good quality, next is poor, next is good again. Seems like different factories actually produce different lots to (supposedly) similar specs, all with ultrafire name on them. Whether this is condoned by the maker, or more likely simply part and parcel of business practices there, is hard to say.

    Enjoy the light!
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  28. #28

    Thumbs up Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromschlag View Post
    Thanks for the nice review.
    I just wonder:
    I ordered a single-stage and a multi-stage C3 on 23rd - received them yesterday.
    I didn't make any comparisons in output or runtime yet - but on first look I can say:
    They look both exactly the same.
    The multi-stage has the same tailcap as the single stage (the 'old' one-no tailstanding), the same extension tube and the built quality is just as well.
    You really can't tell one from another by looking at them...

    Have they changed something?

    Has anyone else just received such a 'different' multistage C3?

    Thanks
    Lars.
    Hi Lars,
    I have just received 5 of the 5-mode C3s (not all for me) and they all look identical to the single mode. I think the one reviewed above was one of the earlier ones produced and possibly still a beta model.

    Contrary to the beam shots at the top of this page I found that every single one of them was brighter and slightly whiter on high than the single mode. The hot spot was a little larger maybe 15-20% and throw is also improved so I'm pleased with them.

    The only downside i can think of is the lack of memory function, if you turn it off on high it comes back on on strobe.
    I have noted the reset to medium feature, thanks for pointing that out bonky. This is a plus in my book although (if the manufacturers are reading this) I feel 3 minutes is a little too long. I'd prefer it to reset under 30 seconds if not instantly if its possible.
    Anyways don't be afraid of the 5-mode for only $1.83 more its well worth it imo.
    Cheers

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* rizky_p's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    Now i wondering whether the supposedly "non beta" version of Multi mode C3 can handle 14500 better?

    Quote Originally Posted by falconx View Post
    Hi Lars,
    I have just received 5 of the 5-mode C3s (not all for me) and they all look identical to the single mode. I think the one reviewed above was one of the earlier ones produced and possibly still a beta model.

    Contrary to the beam shots at the top of this page I found that every single one of them was brighter and slightly whiter on high than the single mode. The hot spot was a little larger maybe 15-20% and throw is also improved so I'm pleased with them.

    The only downside i can think of is the lack of memory function, if you turn it off on high it comes back on on strobe.
    I have noted the reset to medium feature, thanks for pointing that out bonky. This is a plus in my book although (if the manufacturers are reading this) I feel 3 minutes is a little too long. I'd prefer it to reset under 30 seconds if not instantly if its possible.
    Anyways don't be afraid of the 5-mode for only $1.83 more its well worth it imo.
    Cheers
    M@g 623->633, M@g 250, M@g 5761, Penta Cree Q2 M@g (Maxflex), 35w HID Spotlight mod,
    M@g Aspherical Q5, M@g P7, Triple M@g P7(DW)

  30. #30

    Default Re: Ultrafire C3 Multi-stage vs Single-stage (14500/3AA ADDED): RUNTIMES, pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by falconx View Post
    Hi Lars,
    I have just received 5 of the 5-mode C3s (not all for me) and they all look identical to the single mode. I think the one reviewed above was one of the earlier ones produced and possibly still a beta model.

    Contrary to the beam shots at the top of this page I found that every single one of them was brighter and slightly whiter on high than the single mode. The hot spot was a little larger maybe 15-20% and throw is also improved so I'm pleased with them.
    If I may ask, when did you get your single mode? In the absense of more data, it seems to me there are two possibilities: they are shipping vastly different 5-stage versions, or they are shipping single-stage versions that are a lot less bright than previous.

    One simple test: are your single-stage lights any brighter on 2AA vs 1AA? My single stage (and all others I have heard off) have equivalent brightness on the 1AA and 2AA. Secondly, are your multi-stage versions significantly brighter on 2AA (as mine above is)?

    Wouldn't be the first time DX shipped vastly different versions of the same light, but would be good to have more info one way or another. Thanks!
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

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