Zebralight SC53c and SC53w

TCY

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I never thought the lower lumen count was a typo. The SC52 made less lumens than the original SC5 too. That's a physical constraint - boost drivers with wide voltage ranges are less efficient, so by focusing on just the one chemistry with the narrow voltage input in the SC5, they were able to really improve efficiency at the hardware level, not even a software issue (aside from maybe some smarter low voltage detection). I think the typo is in the voltage range. SURELY the SC53w will support both AA and 14500 chemistries.

But of course I could be wrong....

ZL's official reply on the whole driver/14500 debate:

""The H53/SC53/H503 driver is a slightly improved version of the H52/SC52/H502 driver. Again, if we were to put the same (bin) XM-L2 LED in the H53, we'd see some improvements there (in output and efficiency). On top of that, the new UI requires more memory space. Dropping off the 14500 support is among the very few options we had."

You can also find this quote on the H53 thread, page 6, #180:http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...53c-AA-Headlamp-Neutral-White-High-CRI!/page6

Since the *53 line doesn't provide enough memory space for 14500 support after the implementation of the new programmable UI, my guess is that ZL dropped the related hardware as well (hence the lower price), as evidenced by another ZL reply: "14500 support is dropped in the H53 series, compared to the H52, in order to lower the cost (and the price) a bit. High output from Eneloop/NiMH batteries in the SC5 series requires a much more sophisticated and expensive driver." (page 5, #128)
 

emarkd

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ZL's official reply on the whole driver/14500 debate:

""The H53/SC53/H503 driver is a slightly improved version of the H52/SC52/H502 driver. Again, if we were to put the same (bin) XM-L2 LED in the H53, we'd see some improvements there (in output and efficiency). On top of that, the new UI requires more memory space. Dropping off the 14500 support is among the very few options we had."

You can also find this quote on the H53 thread, page 6, #180:http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...53c-AA-Headlamp-Neutral-White-High-CRI!/page6

Since the *53 line doesn't provide enough memory space for 14500 support after the implementation of the new programmable UI, my guess is that ZL dropped the related hardware as well (hence the lower price), as evidenced by another ZL reply: "14500 support is dropped in the H53 series, compared to the H52, in order to lower the cost (and the price) a bit. High output from Eneloop/NiMH batteries in the SC5 series requires a much more sophisticated and expensive driver." (page 5, #128)

Ah, I see. Since I didn't follow the H53 thread that's all news to me. Guess its not a typo then. Thanks for clearing that up.
 

jon_slider

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pics always help me visualize differences :)
Note: I scaled the pic of the SC53 down a bit, since it is .2" shorter and the head is not as fat as the SC5. Hopefully someone will post actual side by side pics.. but Imo this is approximately correct:
SC53 on left, SC5 on right
35897083992_4c1ce0987f_c.jpg
 
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Trevilux

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I am waiting now for the ECO series, but they seems not hightly interested in launch the F series....oh!!! they have deleted F3 of the spreadsheet!
 
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iamlucky13

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I am waiting now for the ECO series, but they seems not hightly interested in launch the F series....oh!!! they have deleted F3 of the spreadsheet!

They must have added it to the spreadsheet very early in the development process.

Presumably this is a completely new driver, so I'd expect it to take a while to prototype, test, possibly reiterate, and finalize the design.

Didn't there also used to be comments on the spreadsheet about the basic features of the eco line?
 

eraursls1984

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I am waiting now for the ECO series, but they seems not hightly interested in launch the F series....oh!!! they have deleted F3 of the spreadsheet!
I can understand this a little. The AA are cheap and have fairly inexpensive rechargeables and both readily available. The 18650 is relatively inexpensive and common while offering very long runtimes. The CR123 however is expensive. Rechargeables are available, but not as common and they don't offer much in terms of runtime over AA's.
 

Tixx

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ZL's official reply on the whole driver/14500 debate:

""The H53/SC53/H503 driver is a slightly improved version of the H52/SC52/H502 driver. Again, if we were to put the same (bin) XM-L2 LED in the H53, we'd see some improvements there (in output and efficiency). On top of that, the new UI requires more memory space. Dropping off the 14500 support is among the very few options we had."

You can also find this quote on the H53 thread, page 6, #180:http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...53c-AA-Headlamp-Neutral-White-High-CRI!/page6

Since the *53 line doesn't provide enough memory space for 14500 support after the implementation of the new programmable UI, my guess is that ZL dropped the related hardware as well (hence the lower price), as evidenced by another ZL reply: "14500 support is dropped in the H53 series, compared to the H52, in order to lower the cost (and the price) a bit. High output from Eneloop/NiMH batteries in the SC5 series requires a much more sophisticated and expensive driver." (page 5, #128)

Cool, thanks for the info. Kind of a double loss. Lost the 14500 support for a good high mode and then lost the high of the new driver. Did gain the custom modes though of course which I like a great deal.
g
 

StorminMatt

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It seems they decided the loss of 1 minute at 500 lumens on one of their two AA model lines wasn't likely to cost them many customers.

Besides, it seems like the opinion is split on CPF of whether turbo modes belong on most flashlights in the first place. I like the option, but others seem to feel the step-down takes away most of the utility of option and borders on deceptive marketing.

The loss of turbo mode is of minor concern when it comes to losing 14500 support. Of much greater concern is the generally more poor, saggy performance of AA vs 14500 at higher brightness levels. Simply put, a AA battery just can't maintain brightness as well on H1 as a 14500. While brightness stays constant with a 14500 until protection kicks in, the light visibly dims with a AA battery.

Another concern is battery charging on the go. Li-Ion uses a simple charge algorithm compared to NiMH, and charges better from variable power sources like solar. In addition, the lower coulombic capacity combined with higher voltage of a 14500 vs AA means that you can actually add energy (which translates to runtime) MUCH more quickly to a 14500 than a AA with small, simple, low current chargers. This makes 14500 a better choice than AA even when you have a reliable power source, but don't want to carry around a full-sized charger (think car charging or using a small charger at the office).

Finally, dumping 14500 means one less battery option. Most folks here like options when it comes to batteries 'just in case'. You never know if you might one day NEED a light, but not have any charged AA batteries on hand. Or, as stated above, you may not have the ability to charge AA batteries. In this case, it might be useful to be able to hse 14500s if this is what you DO have on hand.
 
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iamlucky13

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The loss of turbo mode is of minor concern when it comes to losing 14500 support. Of much greater concern is the generally more poor, saggy performance of AA vs 14500 at higher brightness levels. Simply put, a AA battery just can't maintain brightness as well on H1 as a 14500. While brightness stays constant with a 14500 until protection kicks in, the light visibly dims with a AA battery.

Are you describing your experience with the SC5 II, or just the usual performance?

I've been hoping somebody will take measurements on an SC5 specifically to see how well they were able to cope with this. Based on HKJ's battery tests, an Eneloop theoretically can provide the power necessary to get the rated lumens for most of the battery life, but that's in theory. Actually sustaining nearly 5 Amps when the voltage the boost circuit is receiving gradually declines is certainly a challenge.
 

iamlucky13

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Thank jon. I had actually seen Maukka's test before, but it's of the prior generation. It does show a nice consistent output graph, but the specs for the SC5c II and SC53 suggest they're driven harder than the older lights.

A related matter I'd be curious about is other lumen measurements that might help determine whether Zebralight exaggerated their output, or if Maukka's test setup does not work well for lumen measurements of floody lights.
 

mightysparrow

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The loss of support for the Li-ion chemistry and lower H1 output don't bother me when it comes to the SC53-series lights. With a 1xAA light, I am happy to stick with NiMH cells, and I always set my High level on all my Zebralights at the lowest possible setting. I might use a higher output on High occasionally, but it wouldn't be at the highest output settings. I happen to like the security of a longer runtime on the High level, for my purposes.

I don't use a 1xAA light for >2xx lumen output, and I am using my Zebralight SC52 (original version) as my one light for Eneloops, rather than Li-ion cells, so I am not terribly bothered by the limitations of this particular light. I will hope to own a SC53w eventually.
 
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markr6

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While I feel the same, there doesn't seem to be much of a size advantage vs the sc5c II. What is the point?

After comparing them a bit more, I'm asking myself the same question.
 

iamlucky13

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That's a fair point. They aren't very different. You basically end up choosing between a modest increase in max output, or a small decrease in size, weight, and price.

But the dimensions for each are nearly identical to their predecessors.

SC52 - 0.93" x 3.08" / 1.4 oz
SC53 - 0.96" x 3" / 1.4 oz

SC5 - 1.0" x 3.2" / 2.0 oz
SC5 II - 1.0" x 3.2" / 1.8 oz

I assume the 0.96" is the maximum dimension across the head, but the narrower side of the head might still make it look more appreciably smaller if viewed straight on, and slip into a pocket notably easier than the SC5. Here's a previous gen comparison I found (3rd image):
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...ght-SC5-MKII&p=5048617&viewfull=1#post5048617
 

iamlucky13

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I agree. It seems like most users are best served by picking one or the other depending whether output or size is more important to them. A person with an SC5 isn't gaining much by also getting an SC53...unless they needed another light anyways, but how many of us actually *need* an extra light. That's just what we tell ourselves.
 

eraursls1984

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I agree. It seems like most users are best served by picking one or the other depending whether output or size is more important to them. A person with an SC5 isn't gaining much by also getting an SC53...unless they needed another light anyways, but how many of us actually *need* an extra light. That's just what we tell ourselves.
I "need" a 53 to compliment my 52. I love the SC5c because of the UI, CRI and tint, but I still prefer the 52 for the in hand feel. The 53 will probably give me the best of both worlds.
 

mightysparrow

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That's a fair point. They aren't very different. You basically end up choosing between a modest increase in max output, or a small decrease in size, weight, and price.

But the dimensions for each are nearly identical to their predecessors.

SC52 - 0.93" x 3.08" / 1.4 oz
SC53 - 0.96" x 3" / 1.4 oz

SC5 - 1.0" x 3.2" / 2.0 oz
SC5 II - 1.0" x 3.2" / 1.8 oz

I assume the 0.96" is the maximum dimension across the head, but the narrower side of the head might still make it look more appreciably smaller if viewed straight on, and slip into a pocket notably easier than the SC5. Here's a previous gen comparison I found (3rd image):
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...ght-SC5-MKII&p=5048617&viewfull=1#post5048617

That's helpful information - thanks. I don't own a SC5, and I thought the choice would be an easy one, but I will have to give it some thought.
 
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