FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight

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hank
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It’s alive …. and twitching!
I want one.

CRX
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SKV89 wrote:
CRX wrote:

Well, instead of waiting around or moaning about the FW3A’s production  I had to get creative and make my own version ;)

The more I look at this the nicer this looks. I like the quad better than triple. Perhaps Lumintop should make a FW4A since there isn’t a rear clicky quad in existence and it will be more efficient. Perhaps use 21700 batteries instead of 18650.


Thanks mate, now there is a copper version Wink

cabfrank wrote:
That would be great, after this one.

Yes, lets not distract them Big Smile
teacher
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CRX wrote:
cabfrank wrote:
That would be great, after this one.
Yes, lets not distract them Big Smile
+1 . Wink

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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joechina
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pinkpanda3310 wrote:
The pictured light must be proto 3 ?

Prototype 3 was sent to Germany, unfortunately not to Toykeeper.

I wouldn’t call this a prototype, only anodisation samples to deside the color.

Tom Tom
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Random Dan wrote:
Perhaps since Lumintop only intended to test anodizing, they didn’t bother cutting actual threads? That’s why the tubes look different and why the parts couldn’t be threaded together.

Good call. And thank you TK so much for confirming it with Neal.

Not sure why doing a nice anodise should be proving so tricky, isn’t that what anodisers should just know how to do, it’s their job after all ? Perhaps it’s to do with the alloy used. ISTR that it also took Convoy a while to develop their clear anodise to their satisfaction.

A clear anodise on a “raw” machined finish is also merciless in exposing the slightest defects in workmanship, when the machining marks are to be a design feature, not something to be covered up. Just handling the pieces, moving them around, keeping them almost surgically clean before processing, etc. needs care, individual bubble wrap etc. if you don’t want them dinged up, then a good hard anodise to then protect them. Unlikely to be real mil-spec HA3 stuff, but still something good, semi-hard.

It was probably unrealistic to hope for anything like that at this price-point.

Bead blast, a quick dunk in the tanks, then just chuck them all in a bin together is the production-engineering easy way out.

The solo artisan perfectionist, toiling at their lathe, can make things much more beautiful, and go from concept to execution in a few hours, but that doesn’t easily scale, as I think we are discovering.

Sitting behind a CAD screen, rendering, then perhaps coding for CNC (that’s usually a different, more practical, and dare I say more skilled discipline), is not quite the same thing as making swarf, and sometimes pieces don’t turn out quite the way it was hoped, or are simply un-manufacturable, and another iteration is required, and things can become delayed interminably. The skill is not to let that happen. And to use a team to review, accept constructive criticism, involve the production people as early as possible, and not just live in an ivory tower.

It looks as if they have got a nice looking bland result.

For those interested, you could take a look at e.g http://www.metroplating.co.uk and study their “services” options. Each provides a succinct summary of each process. Specialist finishers like these are crucial to the UK’s manufacturing competitiveness, particularly in motorsport, aerospace and defence, and metroplating one of the best and most nimble IME. There are hundreds more though to choose from, just Google e.g. “anodising uk”.

Or have a go yourself. It’s not difficult. Research it, or just buy a kit from e.g. http://www.gaterosplating.co.uk/index.php?route=common/home or https://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Anodising_Kits.html

Something for modders to experiment with, and a bit more creative than e.g. just baking your torches.

Start with something cheap, strip off the old with sodium hydroxide (e.g. some drain cleaners), maybe buff it up a bit, and get practicing. Some battery acid, inkjet printer ink, some sort of DC power supply, a cathode, some Al wire, and you’r good to go. Perhaps in time for the 2019 Old-Lumens challenge. Use titanium instead, and apply by brush, use masking, and you could make a really unique work of art.

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JasonWW wrote:
Did they mention whether the dark lines/overlap are now gone or perhaps hidden?

They did not mention. I did ask though.

All I have is a couple of pictures, and the pictures don’t show any seams.

ToyKeeper
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FWIW, Neal has asked to have a working sample made and sent to me for testing.

The firmware used should be this one: http://toykeeper.net/torches/fsm/anduril.2018-12-02.FW3A.hex

Recommended fuse values are:

  • Low: 0xE2
  • High: 0xDE
  • Extended: 0xFF

So, BOD is enabled. Without BOD, it’s very difficult to exit momentary mode because the standby drain is too low. It took several minutes to drain far enough to cause the driver to reboot, and with BOD it’s only a few seconds. This should also help avoid other theoretical issues with low voltage.

Factory reset isn’t included, because it’d cause too much delay making sure there are no bugs. I did a quick proof of concept but there were too many issues to move ahead with the change right before production. So I went back to the 12-02 version which, despite the date indicated, has been under test for about three weeks on various lights. It’s virtually identical to the 11-11 version.

Anyway, it seems things are finally moving quickly.

chadvone
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Does BOD mean brown out detection?
the ability to stay on through super short power cycle?

If so I think this would be a good thing.

Is it a good thing?

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cabfrank wrote:
Nottawhackjob, the size and the firmware are elite for an edc. That is what does it for me. I suppose you are correct in that it is not a giant leap ahead, because of the Emisar, which is similar in some ways. I like them both, but have been holding off, waiting for this one.

Yeah the Emisar is watt I was comparing it to.

However there IS a nice subtle design aspect of the FW3A body I do like A LOT which stands out. The sleekly well-crafted ‘combat grip’ ridge right above the tail cap. Extremely useful and a feature I wish many of my rear switched single-cell flashes had incorporated.

Elegant simplicity.

I may buy this just for this brilliant point alone and the way it was executed.

Kudos to the brain that insisted it being there.

Thumbs UpBeer

PS. I wanna clarify that this finger grip ridge isn’t uncommon per se. Just that it appears the FW3A’s is actually large enough for even glove wearers butt yet isn’t too large as to be ugly and out of proportion to the rest of the outer design. Plus it looks well smooth machined and thus comfortable. Sharp ridges and fingers pressing down don’t work for me. Cool

Don’t forget to turn off the lights. Flashlights work better that way.

“Wattever’s not worth doing to excess is not worth doing.” Notta

“Lanyards?! Lanyards?! We don’t need no stinking lanyards!”

“Be skeptical. Question everything. There are plenty around who SOUND like they really know a lot butt in reality are significantly FOS.” Notta

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teacher
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ToyKeeper wrote:

FWIW, Neal has asked to have a working sample made and sent to me for testing.
Thank goodness!!Thumbs UpThumbs UpThumbs Up

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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ToyKeeper
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chadvone wrote:
Does BOD mean brown out detection?

Yes.

It is like LVP, but built deep into the attiny85’s innards. Basically, if voltage drops below 1.8V at any time, even for a few microseconds, it’ll stop code execution completely. The main purpose of this is to make sure the MCU won’t attempt to do anything when it’s out of its supported voltage range, because its behavior is unpredictable when voltage is too low. This helps prevent random eeprom corruption and things like that.

The benefits outlined in the attiny manual don’t seem to matter for flashlight purposes, but it doesn’t hurt. I’m using BOD for its side effect — increasing standby power. Because it makes no difference to battery life but it makes a lot of difference when attempting to exit momentary mode. Without BOD, it could sort of get stuck in momentary mode because there was no fast way to force residual power to drain.

Without BOD, standby power was so low I had to use a high-end 6-digit Fluke meter to measure it. So, basically zero. Or ~0.0001 mA, if I recall correctly. This is impressive, but too low for this purpose. So with BOD, standby power is about 0.02 mA. Low enough to be negligible for battery life, but high enough to make the light shut down only a second or two after power is removed.

amars7
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Put me down for one!

supanate7
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Please add me to the list for one!

GreenBolivian
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Put me down for one please!!

rebelbayou
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I would be interested in for sure. Thanks!

joechina
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@Toykeeper
I redid the Andúril UI graphic a bit and sent it to the BLf adress on Toykeeper dot net
Any comments if good or useless?

Ramrod
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Hi there, cool looking project!

Put me in for one.

id30209
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2 more please!

Marc E
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Late to the party but i’ll have 2 (one of each LED config).
Thanks!

matik42
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interested from one LH351D

chadvone
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joechina wrote:
@Toykeeper I redid the Andúril UI graphic a bit and sent it to the BLf adress on Toykeeper dot net Any comments if good or useless?

Can the rest of us see it?

Tom Tom
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ToyKeeper wrote:
chadvone wrote:
Does BOD mean brown out detection?

Yes.

It is like LVP, but built deep into the attiny85’s innards. Basically, if voltage drops below 1.8V at any time, even for a few microseconds, it’ll stop code execution completely. The main purpose of this is to make sure the MCU won’t attempt to do anything when it’s out of its supported voltage range, because its behavior is unpredictable when voltage is too low. This helps prevent random eeprom corruption and things like that.

The benefits outlined in the attiny manual don’t seem to matter for flashlight purposes, but it doesn’t hurt. I’m using BOD for its side effect — increasing standby power. Because it makes no difference to battery life but it makes a lot of difference when attempting to exit momentary mode. Without BOD, it could sort of get stuck in momentary mode because there was no fast way to force residual power to drain.

Without BOD, standby power was so low I had to use a high-end 6-digit Fluke meter to measure it. So, basically zero. Or ~0.0001 mA, if I recall correctly. This is impressive, but too low for this purpose. So with BOD, standby power is about 0.02 mA. Low enough to be negligible for battery life, but high enough to make the light shut down only a second or two after power is removed.

Agreed. As for the factory reset thing, knowing a little bit about some issues, you’d either have to have a complete duplicate set of incorruptible memory to re-programme the thing, and worry about bootloaders (also corruptible), or checksum it on startup and clear out anything looking wrong and start again if possible, or just declare it dead, return to manufacturer. Difficult to see how to do any of these hypothetical things.

Unless the worry is just about getting stuck in a loop due to a bug, configured into non-volatile memory with no way out. Which is quite another matter.

Or just trying to start again quickly with what’s still there, in a default configuration. Which makes sense.

Turning on BOD is the right thing to do at this point, despite resistance from some other people. It has been a controversial issue in the past, but I think the benefits are more accepted nowadays.

ToyKeeper
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joechina wrote:
I redid the Andúril UI graphic a bit … Any comments if good or useless?

Yes, it should make things easier for printing in black and white.

I need to do some updates too, but I’ve been procrastinating about it because there’s not much room left to add anything. It could use some info about how to control aux LEDs, for lights which have those, but I’m not looking forward to rearranging things to make it fit.

Depot_Shredder
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I’m so looking forwards to this. Am I on the list already? If not, I’d love to buy at least one with the LH351D LEDs.

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Nice to see this project coming together!

When do you think it will go into production TK? 3 months? 6 months?

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Is there any idea of how long after the first run the LH351D run will happen?

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Depot_Shredder wrote:
I’m so looking forwards to this. Am I on the list already? If not, I’d love to buy at least one with the LH351D LEDs.

This looks like your first post on this thread.

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JasonWW wrote:
Depot_Shredder wrote:

I'm so looking forwards to this. Am I on the list already? If not, I'd love to buy at least one with the LH351D LEDs.

This looks like your first post on this thread.

Yup, that's what I see as well.

Panoptic
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Interested in 1.

Mikesch54
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Interested in two. if there are 2 variants of LEDs, please one each. I have already posted this in the German TLF, but the tread does not seem to live anymore.

 

Edit:

TLF Tread is going on. Please ignore this post

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