Old 09-16-2013, 12:32 PM #1
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Default Review: Aurabuy SK96 Cree XML T6 *PIC HEAVY*




Before I start the review I have some great news. Mia from Aurabuy has said:

Quote:
If buyers want to get coupon for other laser pointers or flashlight, you can let them send the email to cooperate@aurabuy.com Then i will offer them.
This means that you can contact her personally for a discount on other lasers and flashlights!!


This is a review of a second light sent to me from Aurabuy. I'll try to keep the format of the reviews the same, so you can make easy comparisons between the lights, and give a run down of the various components of the light along with some testing carried out. Ill also give a number of stars * out of 5 for each category. Unfortunately, I dont have a light meter so I cant give LUX readings.


Specifications **

Model SK96
Quantity 1
Color Black
Material Aluminum alloy
Emitter Brand Cree
LED Type XM-L
Emitter BIN T6
Color BIN Cool white
Number of Emitters 1
Working Voltage 3.6~4.2 V
Battery Configuration 1 x 18650 or 3 x AAA (not included)
Circuitry 3000mA
Brightness 800 lm
Runtime 2 hours
Number of Modes 3
Mode Arrangement Hi > Mid>Lo > Fast strobe>SOS
Mode Memory No
Switch Type Reverse clicky
Switch Location Tailcap
Lens Optical convex lens
Reflector No
Beam Range 100 meters
Strap Included No
Clip Included Yes
Other Feature Water resistant; Zoom-to-throw
Packing List 1 x Flashlight
? 1 x AAA battery holder
Dimensions: 5.63 in x 1.50 in x 1.50 in (14.3 cm x 3.8 cm x 3.8 cm)
Weight: 5.61 oz (159 g)


Running through the list of specifications there are a few incorrect entries. Im not sure its actually a cool white as its much more yellow than other cool whites I have and Ill get to that later. The current is only 1.36 A at max and not the stated 3 A. As I mentioned I dont have a light meter, but at 1.36 A we should expect a much lower lumen count and perhaps 400 - 500 lumens would be a more reasonable estimation. There are also 5 modes.


Price ****

The light is currently on offer and at $ 11.49 the price is good. At present I think this is the lowest price you can find for this particular light. It is a flood-to-throw ie a zooming flashlight and comes with a T6 emitter on an aluminium star.


Shipping, Delivery and Communication *****

The light was shipped together with the 301 laser I just reviewed. As I mentioned the shipping was quite quick and took around 2 weeks.

It arrived well protected with several layers of bubble wrap. I didnt actually take pictures of the packaging, but if you'd like to have a look here is an example from my last review with them: http://laserpointerforums.com/f66/re...avy-83891.html

A side from the fast shipping and well protected package, Mia was exceptionally helpful and friendly so once again Im giving them full stars in this category.


Build *

Here are some pictures of the light:




For this picture the tail cap had to be removed as the light cannot tail stand.



These are all the components that make up the light.


Unfortunately, the build of this light isnt so good. As a flood-to-throw it does function adequately - the head did require a little lubrication to work properly though - just not very impressively. Also for such a fat body with head OD 37 mm, the ID and lens are quite small at 22 mm and as a result the flood suffers quite a bit. The lens is also made of plastic.

Here are a couple of comparison pics of the heads and bodies of a Poppas, Sipik 98 and the SK96. You can actually see that the lens at 22 mm is almost the same size as the Sipik (20 mm), which is a considerably smaller light.



This picture shows the magnification of the lenses.


Throw is acceptable and their estimation of 100 m is reasonable. The host is designed for a single 18650, but the tube diameter is 23 mm which means you could use a 22600 or 22650 instead. One gripe was the fact that no plastic sleeve came with the light to fit an 18650 snugly. As it stands you can hear the battery knocking around in the tube if you shake it…


The light is 14 cm long in flood and 15.7 cm in throw. Here is the light compared to both the Poppas and Sipik 98.

In flood:



In throw:


In several reviews it was mentioned that there was no heat sink grease between the star and the pill. Here grease had been applied, however it wasn't effective or useful. Unfortunately due to the design of the pill, the star sits upon a narrow flange around the outside edge and there is no central metal plate that the star can make contact with (pic 5). The contact area around the edge was so small, that it's unlikely, even with grease, that there will be effective thermal transfer.

The clicky is a reverse clicky, which means no "momentary on" but you can click through the modes by partly depressing the switch. It remembers the last mode and so each time the switch is depressed it moves to the next mode. The modes are High:Med:Low:Strobe and SOS.

The anodising was not perfect. Generally it was ok, but there were a few tiny areas where you could see aluminium. I tried to scratch the body with a set of keys and the anodising held up which is a good sign, so I guess cree's quality control needs a little work...

On a positive note the belt clip is good and strong and the bezel can be unscrewed and replaced, or upgraded, if desired.

Lastly the pill is very long and has an inner diameter of 19 mm, which is perfect for modifying with a little copper or aluminium rod. The extra space means it can be shortened too, leaving room to accommodate eg. 2 x 18350's and/or a larger and thicker driver.

Here you can see the pill which is rather long and useful for modifications, if desired.


Again the driver (pic above) is very basic and identical to the one used in the other light reviewed. It is one of those really cheap unregulated varieties, with the current increasing with battery potential. Again the modes are controlled by PWM and there is no visible flicker when the torch is moved rapidly. However, a high pitched humming sound can be heard in MED and LOW.

I tested the the current both at the tail cap and at the LED. To measure the LED current, I soldered my DMM between the L+ lead from the driver and the L+ pad on the star. This is the setup and I could quickly click through the modes and note the current. The picture below is from my other review, but shows the setup used.



Current Readings: Tested with an AW IMR 18650 2000 mAhr battery.

...................Tail Cap............LED
High...............2.20..............1.36
Med................1.08..............0.63
Low................0.27..............0.17


Output *

Well at 1.36 A the T6 emitter is seriously under driven and as such the output is not particularly impressive. The pictures below show the beam profile at approximately 1 m from a white wall. All the exposures, in the sets, were identical as the modes were cycled through. The first set are in flood and the second set are in throw mode.









Conclusion and Rating **

Well Id give this a 2 out of 5 - Its a very average to slightly below average light. The build quality rating was reduced by the lack of proper heat sinking for the star (which is actually a design fault!), the plastic lens, the very low drive current and the lack of a sleeve for the battery. I havent mentioned it, but the light comes with a 3x AAA battery holder which does fit properly. The light worked and did what it should, just not very well.

Host was provided by Aurabuy for the purposes of a review! Thanks for reading...oh and feel free to make any comments!


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100mW 405 PHR
700mW 405

2W 445 C6--link--
+2.3W 445 --link--
+2.5W 445 --link--

190mW 450 --link--
15mW 510nm
5mW 532 --link--
25mW 532 --link--

520mW 638 --link--
1W 638

250mW 650
250mW 780

3000 Lm C8 MTG2 @ 6 A!
Poppas mod 3A --link--
Sipik 98 Cu pill/star mod --link--

Last edited by grainde; 09-18-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:51 PM #2
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Default Re: Review: Aurabuy SK96 Cree XML T6 *PIC HEAVY*

Thanks for the review! it reminds me of a C6 of S4 is it bigger or smaller though?
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:00 PM #3
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Default Re: Review: Aurabuy SK96 Cree XML T6 *PIC HEAVY*

Cheers. Its a little longer than a C6 and a lot fatter. Im not sure what an S4 is?
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100mW 405 PHR
700mW 405

2W 445 C6--link--
+2.3W 445 --link--
+2.5W 445 --link--

190mW 450 --link--
15mW 510nm
5mW 532 --link--
25mW 532 --link--

520mW 638 --link--
1W 638

250mW 650
250mW 780

3000 Lm C8 MTG2 @ 6 A!
Poppas mod 3A --link--
Sipik 98 Cu pill/star mod --link--
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:56 PM #4
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Default Re: Review: Aurabuy SK96 Cree XML T6 *PIC HEAVY*

I really like your photography, teardown, and the honest rating you give the reviews.

Maybe you can ask for the more famous lights such as the Jacob A60 so that people are aware of them here at LPF?

Edit: Unfortunately this is the first time I'm seeing this light, probably because of its mediocre quality.

(Especially when the pill is hollow so there is virtually no heat sinking.)

Honestly I would give it one star out of five; I may sound harsh, but I would not recommend this to anyone due to its poor build quality as well as poor design.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:15 PM #5
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Default Re: Review: Aurabuy SK96 Cree XML T6 *PIC HEAVY*

Good review, I like the host honestly. Think it can be good for lasers
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:03 PM #6
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Default Re: Review: Aurabuy SK96 Cree XML T6 *PIC HEAVY*

Thanks! Yup have to agree there, definitely lots of room inside for a heatsink...
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New to lasers & want some info on how to build a laser? Look here: Build a laser

Need info on goggles? Look here: Get safety goggles now!

FS Custom Sinner Host builds available now!


Here is my old Kryton Groove FS thread!

100mW 405 PHR
700mW 405

2W 445 C6--link--
+2.3W 445 --link--
+2.5W 445 --link--

190mW 450 --link--
15mW 510nm
5mW 532 --link--
25mW 532 --link--

520mW 638 --link--
1W 638

250mW 650
250mW 780

3000 Lm C8 MTG2 @ 6 A!
Poppas mod 3A --link--
Sipik 98 Cu pill/star mod --link--
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