Zebralight SC52 Owner's Thread

Derek Dean

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I never quite found a place for the 52w in my EDC rotation (my 62w just has so much more run time), but it's found an excellent spot in my bug-out-bag, fitted with a lithium primary cell. I like knowing I can always find AA batteries ANYWHERE.
 

jkid1911

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I never quite found a place for the 52w in my EDC rotation (my 62w just has so much more run time), but it's found an excellent spot in my bug-out-bag, fitted with a lithium primary cell. I like knowing I can always find AA batteries ANYWHERE.
This is a great point, having owned a 62 myself I can understand but the slightly larger size and cell requirement made me revert back to the 52. I've found that the 52's output and versatility suit me better.

Hard not to love them all...
 

Repsol600rr

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I also have a 62w, 62d, and 64w hi. I initially got into 6x series for exactly that. Way more briteness and runtime in a package not much larger. What could be wrong with that? And nothing was for several months as the 62w took the edc role. Then one day I helped my friend change the rear bumper on his truck and spent quite a lot of time mouth holding the 62w. It was on an h setting for essentially the entire time we were working which was way more than needed really. When we got done my mouth hurt a lot and the battery was still 3/4 full. I thought to myself at that point that for my edc needs on a day to day basis that the 62w really is overkill. So I put the 52w or 52d back in my pocket and enjoyed the lower weight and smaller size knowing full well they really were capable of handling any normal edc task that came along. Barring something crazy more runtime and briteness are just a short distsnce away the vast majority of the time.
 

Mr. LED

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I never quite found a place for the 52w in my EDC rotation (my 62w just has so much more run time), but it's found an excellent spot in my bug-out-bag, fitted with a lithium primary cell. I like knowing I can always find AA batteries ANYWHERE.

That’s exactly my line of thinking!
 

Random Dan

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I quite like taking the SC52w and H52w duo for backpacking trips. It is nice to have redundancy but carrying two 18650 lights is more than I need.
 

elzilcho

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Does anyone have a picture of the SC52/SC53 next to a BOSS 35? I'm curious how the sizes compare. I don't like the idea of adding a AA light since nothing else uses that size but I do like the 4500K tint of the SC64 HI. Hopefully the 4500K of the SC53w is similar.
 

archimedes

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Does anyone have a picture of the SC52/SC53 next to a BOSS 35? I'm curious how the sizes compare. I don't like the idea of adding a AA light since nothing else uses that size but I do like the 4500K tint of the SC64 HI. Hopefully the 4500K of the SC53w is similar.

Sure ...

63KTNi0.jpg


They are remarkably similar overall, with the ZL SC53w only a little thinner (and less symmetrical)

The XP-L2 (EasyWhite 4500K 80+CRI 3-step-tint) in mine is excellent. Not "incandescent" warm, but more of a "Manila folder" buff color.
 
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elzilcho

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Thank you, archimedes! That picture is super helpful. The 1" tail diameter of the BOSS makes it pretty prominent sticking out of a pocket. Do you find the ZL's narrower tail makes it more comfortable to carry than the BOSS, even though they're close to the same length? Or is the difference even noticeable?
 

archimedes

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Thank you, archimedes! That picture is super helpful. The 1" tail diameter of the BOSS makes it pretty prominent sticking out of a pocket. Do you find the ZL's narrower tail makes it more comfortable to carry than the BOSS, even though they're close to the same length? Or is the difference even noticeable?

I actually find the BOSS 35 to carry more compactly than the ZL probably because its head and tail are similar in size and shape, and of course, it is much more powerful as well.

The advantage of the ZL SC53w is the convenience of using AA for power. In terms of actual volume and weight, it is certainly less, though.

The even larger BOSS 70, in contrast, is still plenty compact but affords a more secure grip than either of those other two smaller torches.
 
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elzilcho

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I appreciate your perspective on how the ZL carries in real-world use. Will probably hold off on purchasing one for now.
 

flatline

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Is the SC53c the most current Zebralight AA model? Or the SC5?

I've had a SC51 for several years and I love it, but I can't carry it because it turns on in my pocket. Now that everybody is assuring me that Zebralight has addressed that issue in current models, I'm in for an AA.

--flatline
 

Mr. LED

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Yes they’re both the current models with AA batteries. The recessed switch is very difficult to accidentally switch on, never happened to me in more than 3 years and I’m using Zebralights daily.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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I have a couple of SC52's and an SC5w. All great AA lights. I like that the SC52 can take either AA or 14500 lithium-ion.

While I use my SC64w HI as an EDC more often, I still sometimes opt for the smaller SC52 or SC52w. If I don't need high output, it's good enough, and it's smaller.

One thing I haven't found much use for as an EDC is the SC5w. Too thick for EDC. It's almost as big as one of my SC600's, and I much prefer those for outdoors. The SC5 does make for a good bedside light, though. Because it's so thick, it tail-stands really easily on almost anything.
 

kreisl

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Today i modded my SC52 L2-nw. I added mechanical reverse polarity protection! It was easy/fast to source the plastic material and cut out the ring ("donut"), add some double-sided adhesive tape and install it.

Pic is worth a thousands words:
img_20201008_211504oijq9.jpg


I made the outer ring diameter as wide as an AA/14500 battery, i.e. 14mm:
img_20201008_2128153pkuh.jpg


The thickness of the plastic alone is almost 1.2mm, so not super thin tbh. That's because the SC52 driver disc does have a protruding (+)contact (solder point). So the plastic should be thicker (higher) than that solder point. The white double-sided adhesive tape adds to the height of the spacer for a total of about ~1.45mm (the yellow foil has a thickness of 0.10mm and isn't part of the installation, the white tape is 0.15mm thick, does the maths add up? lol):
img_20201008_212911y8je1.jpg


Before the installation. Here you can see the central raised "solder point":
img_20201008_213035iik2j.jpg


After the installation (mod). You can still see the central raised "solder point", of course, but the surrounding plastic is higher:
img_20201008_213239zqka4.jpg


I've tested it. The spacer works. Perfect mechanical reverse polarity protection! I should have done the mod a long time ago .. tbh i haven't been using this light at all. It's a cherry-picked unit with supernice rose NW tint and just a collection piece. Also the original lack of reverse polarity protection had worried me, a reason why i didn't want to use it more often. Maybe the use of double-sided adhesive tape (carpet tape) was not the very best idea, because in Turbo mode the heat could mess up the adhesive with an unpredictable long-term result. Adhesives also age. Well, fingers crossed!
Today i actually mis-installed a battery on the Olight Smini Ti and almost ruined the electronics (so i thought)! It's indeed the reason why i did this Zebralight mod today. lol

:thumbsup:

EDIT: Heck, while we're at it, i also examined the MRPP (mechanical reverse polarity protection) of Olight S1A stainless steel. Down inside the body tube one can see a plastic(?) spacer, similar to my modded SC52, surrounding the raised solder point contact. According to my difficult measurements, the clearance is about 0.4mm. In practice, that should be sufficient. But given that an Eneloop nub has a height of 1.6mm, the 0.4mm is not plenty imho. So i cut out spacers of varying thicknesses (0.30, 0.35, 0.60) and combined them to learn about the max possible spacer to add:
img_20201009_1736105rju8.jpg


Here the S1A SS, original, unmodded. Deep down the body tube there is a black donut. It covers/protects the electronic components on the driver disc and should(?) also serve as MRPP, i guess. The untrained eye might think that the donut is a lathed stainless steel wall (similar to SC52 construction) lol but I doht see circular/concentric machining marks, so the donut is prolly just a spacer made out of hard plastic which got dropped down onto the driver:

img_20201009_1536299bkf6.jpg


From my tests i learned that adding a spacer of 1.00mm (2×0.35 + 0.30) was too much but 0.95mm (0.60 +1×0.35) was still okay. I decided to install just 1 spacer of 0.60mm thickness, made out of clear plastic, and this time not employ any adhesives! For my plastic spacer to stay in place, it had to be a press fit (or friction fit). By carefully trimming the diameter with a Stanley knife i managed to cut the spacer diameter to perfect fitment. Once installed, it's very much permanent. So i had to know for sure that adding 0.60mm to the system would work:

img_20201009_174642kkk32.jpg


And yes, it works. As mentioned, i could even add another 0.30 or 0.35mm paperboard spacer to the system and the light would still work! That goes to show that the original clearance is very little. Through my mod, the S1A SS has now a generous clearance of 1.00mm (instead of 0.4mm), if i reverse-installed the battery.
 
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Owen

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Funny to see this old thread from 2012 on page 1.
I'm still carrying a SC52w as an EDC light, and using a H52Fw as a backpacking light, having found no reason to replace either.
Holding up? They both work as new, except that the SC52w has recently developed a habit of periodically(maybe 1-2x per week?) requiring the tailcap to be loosened a fraction of a turn to break battery contact, then retightened, for the light to work.
I never even use H1 on either light, so have avoided the temptation to buy the 18650 versions.
Guess I'll just buy a SC53w if it ever stops working...
 

chillinn

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Surprisingly, until very recently, weeks, Zebralight had the SC52F L2 on sale on their site. It was only just discontinued, telling me it sold out and parts to make it are no longer available.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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I didn't realize the SC52's don't have reverse-polarity protection. Where did you learn that? Dunno if I've ever stuck a battery in the wrong way, but over the years I'd be surprised if I haven't. Doesn't seem to have done any damage, though.

When I use a lithium-ion 14500, I'm a little more careful in how I insert cells in my lights. Pretty sure I've never stuck one in backwards. Is the problem just with 14500's, or NiMH too?
 
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