DealExtreme C78 Torch

 

C78 Flashlight Clone with 2 AA Batteries

Oct 2 2010

 

A few months ago I reviewed the C78 flashlight which is an imitation of the LED LENSER P5 at a fraction of the cost. Despite that fact I really liked the C78. It has been my main flashlight for nearly a year now. One weakness of the C78 is that it is underpowered by a single AA battery. Don't get me wrong, it's far brighter than a Maglite. Recently, I decided to test exactly how much power was going to the LED. It turned out the output voltage was 3.2 volts and the current at 330 mA with a fully charged battery. That's roughly 1 watt of power going to the LED, half of what it can officially handle.

I wondered if the current can be increased if it used 2 AA batteries as opposed to just one. Unfortunately, they don't sell extension tubes for the C78. I did some searching on ebay and did found a C78 clone with an extended tube to support 2 AA batteries. I was so happy to see it and quickly made a purchase. A week later and here I am doing a review.

I'm sad to say it's a really bad clone. The parts are non-interchangeable with the C78. So much for wishful thinking. When I took it out of its plain white box I immediately noticed the cheap anodizing. It felt rough and thin and appears matte. My C78 is shiny and the anodizing feels smooth. I proceeded to tear the clone apart and made side-by-side comparisons.

 

C78 2 AA

 

The extended tube of the clone is missing the metal ring of the C78 that keeps the zoom head from wobbling. The clone head of course wobbles and without that ring it rubs against the tube. Cosmetically, I can see the anodizing wearing off at this junction because of abrasion.

 

C78 2 AA

 

The tubes are roughly the same diameter but the wall of the clone tube is thinner. That means the inner diameter of the clone tube is wider. This tiny difference means the pill and tail cap will have different dimensions as well making them non-interchangeable with the C78.

 

C78 2 AA

 

The push button of the clone tailcap on the left is more flatter than on the C78. This makes it harder to press. I end up using the tip of my finger to engage it because you have to press it in quite deeply.

 

C78 2 AA

 

The tailcap and pill of the clone have more threads than on the C78. Unfortunately, they're still quite loose unless fully tightened. The switch assembly is still press fitted into the tailcap making it difficult to replace.

 

C78 2 AA

 

The headcap of the clone is thin-walled just like the tube. The holes encircling it are not drilled all the way through unlike on the C78. I also hate the screen printing of the zoom levels.

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