Zebralight SC52 Owner's Thread

kreisl

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Where did you learn that?
1. No ZL webpage, documentation, manual, ad, service mail, etc officially claims that SC52 does have it. No user/owner/reviewer claims such a thing either.
2. Users on the www claimed that they ruined the light by reverse insertion, contacted ZL for help and got help, which points to an indirect admission of the fact.
3. Iirc there were several threads and discussions on the topique. One can google the term < sc52 reverse polarity > and find relevant instances, maybe even in this thread.

I love the cherry-picked SC52w L2 and S1A SS in my collection, both are equally top-efficient AA lights which also support 14500, and now are also modded to physical reverse polarity protection noice. Another great light in this class is the Eagtac D25A Ti (nowadays titled D3A Ti), also for AA/14500; a timeless classique in the Eagtac catalog.
 
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ChrisGarrett

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1. No ZL webpage, documentation, manual, ad, service mail, etc officially claims that SC52 does have it. No user/owner/reviewer claims such a thing either.
2. Users on the www claimed that they ruined the light by reverse insertion, contacted ZL for help and got help, which points to an indirect admission of the fact.
3. Iirc there were several threads and discussions on the topique. One can google the term < sc52 reverse polarity > and find relevant instances, maybe even in this thread.

I love the cherry-picked SC52w L2 and S1A SS in my collection, both are equally top-efficient AA lights which also support 14500, and now are also modded to physical reverse polarity protection noice. Another great light in this class is the Eagtac D25A Ti (nowadays titled D3A Ti), also for AA/14500; a timeless classique in the Eagtac catalog.

I cannot run a flat top Sanyo UR14500P in my 2-3 year old SC52 CW and I can, thankfully, run my really long EVVA (protected Sanyo 840mAh) cell, so my particular example tends to show that it does have RPP.

Chris
 

kreisl

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a flat top Sanyo UR14500P
that's a popular cell and prolly the most often implemented cell in a third-party 14500 quality battery product. I used the original UR14500P red wrapped cell in my sc52w l2 too, but can't remember with or without magnet nub. now it's too late to retest because i installed the thick(!) plastic insulating spacer "permanently". so now, the UR14500P doesn't produce light in my modded sc52w l2, unless i add some magnet nub.

If you believe that your unit has RPP, then it should be safe for you @Chris to insert 14500 reversely to test it, whaddaya think?
:devil:
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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I just looked at my SC52w-L2, and my SC52 (original cool-white with the basic XM-L). They both appear to have raised rings around the positive contact. So, I think they have RPP. I don't have any flat-top cells to check, though. Not sure I want to try a reversed cell to check. But, I may give it a try with a cell that is mostly discharged. Anyway, it looks safe on both my SC52 variants.
 

kreisl

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They both appear to have raised rings around the positive contact.
I did post a photo. Looking down the tube, my eyes tell me that the raised part is the black center with the electrical contact, not the surrounding rings. The "rings around the positive contact" are lathed aluminum walls, stemming from the unibody design. Obviously the circular wall (looking like a donut) must have a center hole for the electrical contact to peek through, or protrude (as my eyes see it). Then ZL filled in some black potting for water tightness.

In such an assembly, whether the black center area with the positive contact is really raised or not, could be determined with calipers, as i did with the HM61R thank you.

Needless to agree, by installing a 1.20mm plastic spacer we err on the side of caution. :nana:
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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Well, I measured the center of the "donut" on mine to be about 1mm recessed, compared to the outer ring. I'm not sure if the contact protrudes higher than that 1mm. Maybe... maybe not.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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The issue is, is that IMO, the SC52 needs a cell/battery with a button top.

Chris

Yes, it certainly seems to be designed that way. But kreisl seems to be saying that it's not recessed enough, and that RPP isn't there. If that's the case, then flat tops should work. I don't have any to try, though.
 

kreisl

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then flat tops should work
yes, in my theory, flat tops should work. (but i really cannot test my Sanyo14500, as mentioned)
but as Chris tested the Sanyo14500 resulting in no light, i might be wrong with much of the things ive said. and i would blame my eyes. haha
it's been years since i used 14500 in my sc52wl2, i must have tried TrustfireFlames (has flattop) and Sanyo (has flattop). I also remember having used magnets in 14500 lights but can't remember which lights. Maybe it was some sc52. i can't remember.

i am trying to call Zebralight for a quick clarification but i can't find their phone number. Let's get an official word from them.

have always run mine with flat top 14500s
Cha!!

:twothumbs
 
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chillinn

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This mystery keeps getting stranger and stranger, and down the rabbit hole we go. I hope Zebralight can solve this for us definitively.
 

chillinn

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That solves that aspect. But is the positive contact on SC52 supposed to provide reverse polarity protection? And does it?
 

kreisl

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That solves that aspect. But is the positive contact on SC52 supposed to provide reverse polarity protection? And does it?
Zebralight hasn't responded yet.

Meanwhile we could continue our discussion. This battery:
snap1emk9r.jpg


Hopefully we can agree that:
  • this is the perfect reference battery for SC52-series lights. i had this battery too and i can definitely remember that i didn't have to use a magnet or alike. the light got sold in this product combo on various places (cpf, tlf, www, ebay, retailers, etc) because the combo worked and was a perfect match. actually i can remember having sold this combo too to a forum fliend. no magnet was needed
  • the top area is pretty flat, and relatively wide (compared to an Eneloop nub). the contact hardly protrudes. maybe by 0.3mm relative to the green shoulder. this battery is clearly to be called a "flat-top battery". anyway, it's just name calling
  • if the sc52 driver disc's electrical (+)contact was recessed by 1.0mm, then the 0.3mm battery top protrusion would not reach that (+)contact unless etc.
  • if the light had physical RPP, a flat-top battery should not work unless etc.
  • my modded sc52 has physical RPP. consequently, this flat-top battery doesn't work in it q.e.d.
 

chillinn

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Hopefully we can agree that:…
this battery is clearly to be called a "flat-top battery".

I'd call that battery a button-top cell, not a flat-top.


How is this thing even legal? It's like a flat button top, but not. What standard does it comply with? If is isn't either/or, and isn't both or something else, just what can it be??
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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How is this thing even legal? It's like a flat button top, but not. What standard does it comply with? If is isn't either/or, and isn't both or something else, just what can it be??

Well, it's probably not legal. At least in a strict regulated sense. Free cell lithium-ion batteries are kind of a grey area. Standard flat-tops are definitely not approved for sale to consumers, from all the major manufacturers. I doubt they approve of it any more, if a rewrapper slaps a button on it.
 

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.
Let's revisit the mod, shall we? Zebralight got back to me but i am not sure (yet) if i can give a verbatim quote. Basically they told me that the light does not have electronic RPP and that, depending on the assembly (day/guy/luck/unluck?:crazy:), the metal(+)contact could protrude, resulting in the light also not having physical RPP, which is the case with my production unit. I am guessing that this assembly eventuality is likely de reason why the light is not advertised as having physical RPP. :eek:

On my unit ymmv, the metal(+)contact is raised/elevated/protruding. After having installed the thick blue spacer (1.35mm thickness!), i got a clearance of 0.66mm, which was plenty. The difference of 0.69mm was proof to me that that contact was raised indeed. But i want to produce facts, for others to refer/compare. So today i made a lil tool out of a nail with which i managed to uninstall the blue spacer:
img_20201020_1520215kjk3.jpg


The double-sided adhesive tape stuck more firmly on the aluminum than on the plastic and it was h*ll to scratch/peel it off with the tool. I also had to use Q-tips with acetone to loosen some remaining adhesive residues. I will never:scowl: use any kind of tape again inside a flashlight!
img_20201020_152130e0k0k.jpg


My Sanyo14500 cell has a Ø6.8mm wide top, protruding by 0.10-0.19mm (relative to the red shoulder), hard to measure exactly, what's your measurement? In any case, for argument's sake the "flat top" be minimally "protruding" and not flat and also not recessed. Okay. Fact: it works perfectly in my unmodded original sc52w l2 unit, no magnet needed. And this fact should make you wonder:thinking:. If the light had physical RPP, then why would a ~0.10mm protrusion be sufficient to make electrical contact? The clearance would have to be 0.09mm or less; that does not sound safe to me! At least this situation is reason for suspicion and warrants examination imho, so let's check and try to measure the actual clearance, if there is any:
50cs9qjfr.gif


My Trustfire Flames 14500 has a pretty wide and flat top too, yet not as wide and as flat as Sanyo. The Eneloop AA has a very pronounced button top. I wanted to install a new thinner plastic spacer and without adhesives or tape. I found red plastic material of 0.65-0.68mm thickness. Perfect thickness to provide enough clearance and still be thin enough so that i wouldn't need magnets with my 14500 batteries?
img_20201020_145248exj89.jpg



Here the most important picture, a schematic of my unit (and yours might be alike, beware!):
img_20201020_145209bfkx3.jpg


As you can read from the schematic, on my unit the metal(+)contact protrudes by 0.5mm relative to the aluminum wall/shoulder/donut/ring ( 53.4 - 52.9 = 0.5mm ). It explains why all 14500's batteries make "positive contact" lol in my unmodded unit. But it also means that my unmodded unit does not have physical RPP. If, after the mod, i want at least 0.10mm clearance, then i must install an insulating spacer (donut/ring) of at least 0.60mm thickness. The cut out red spacer fulfills this requirement:
img_20201020_14542301kn2.jpg


With the installed red spacer now I am measuring a clearance of ~0.2mm, which is sounds sufficiently safe imho. Actually it must be slightly over 0.2mm :thumbsup:, because the Sanyo14500 doesn't work anymore. Good. That's fine with me.

Summary:

  • unmodded original SC52w L2 kreisl unit: Eneloop works, Trustfire Flames 14500 works, Sanyo14500 works. In theory the unit could still have 0.09mm (or less) clearance, but my measurements prove that in reality there is no clearance, on my unit, but a protrusion of 0.5mm ouch. Clearly, there is no physical RPP, on my unit. Ymmv.
  • SC52w L2 w/ taped 1.35mm blue spacer assembly: Ubersafe physical RPP. Eneloop works. 14500's don't work unless installed with magnet nub.
  • SC52w L2 w/ press-fitted 0.7mm red spacer: Eneloop works, Trustfire Flames 14500 works. Sanyo14500 doesn't work unless installed with magnet nub; this proves that the physical RPP works and that the clearance has to be over 0.2mm.
That's it, my completed mod for my particular production unit of the SC52w L2. I am happy, i am done. :party:

Now the conclusion for your SC52w L2. :caution:

  • If you insert an original Sanyo14500 cell (the red battery as pictured) and it doesn't work, then it could mean that your particular production unit was assembled leaving an intentional clearance of slightly over 0.20mm (and if that is so, it should mean that your unit has physical RPP, congrats). And if you don't have a Sanyo14500 cell for testing, then you should try to take similar measurements as seen in the above schematic in order to determine if your metal(+)contact is protruding/raised/elevated. If it is, then i'd recommend an insulating spacer mod as shown.
  • If you insert an original Sanyo14500 cell (the red battery as pictured) and it does work, then it could mean that either ALT1 your particular production unit was assembled leaving an unintentional(!) clearance of between 0.01mm and 0.09mm (and if that is so, it should mean that your unit has physical RPP, barely so) or ALT2 that the metal(+)contact is protruding (thus your unit not having physical RPP, beware). Imho ALT2 is more likely/realistic, but who knows for sure? So you should try to take similar measurements as seen in the above schematic in order to determine if your metal(+)contact is protruding/raised/elevated. If it is, then i'd recommend an insulating spacer mod as shown.
 
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chillinn

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That is a very pretty Eneloop, and an excellent post, kreisl, and the beauty of your pioneering industry is that your method might just work with any Zebralight that is lacking RPP, and I will assume so.
 
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