FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight - SST-20 available, coupon codes public

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ToyKeeper
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mortuus wrote:
ToyKeeper marry me ?

To whom? I’ve done a few weddings before, but I hope you don’t expect anything traditional or serious. It’s more fun to do the marriage scene from The Princess Bride, or some other silliness.

Cereal_killer wrote:
What is this vision pin / “optic nerve” in the fw3a hwdef file?

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Now, back on topic…

candor wrote:
liquidretro wrote:
I like the look but the only disappointing thing to me is the clip isn’t very deep carry. Hopefully there will be an alternative or aftermarket option.
+ 1 The clip as is would look sleeker but I would prefer the functionality of a deep carry clip.

I generally like deep-carry clips too, but I find this one is still pretty good. I think it’s my favorite non-deep-carry clip so far.

joechina wrote:
It seems you redid your version or?

Yeah, I did. Flowing unicode characters along the curve was a really clever idea, but I went for something a bit simpler instead. It’s just a thin white line on top of the wider green line. I should probably move the arrow heads up to a higher layer to avoid the white going into the arrow, but that was extra effort and it’s more visually distinct this way. Maybe I’ll do that later.

There was also the option of converting the path to a solid, and using strokes along the edges of the solid, but that has its own difficulties.

joechina wrote:
I would also …

I may change some of these things too, depending on how it looks when printed.

joechina wrote:
Have you noticed the reduced versions I mailed?

Yes, I’ve just had a large backlog to catch up on.

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I am new to collecting flashlights and to this forum. ToyKeeper, you are a kind, helpful and generous lady to share your brilliant work so that novices like me can get such enjoyment with the amazing technology in flashlights. Two years ago I would have never believed what is possible today. Keep up the good work.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
mortuus wrote:
ToyKeeper marry me ?

To whom? I’ve done a few weddings before, but I hope you don’t expect anything traditional or serious. It’s more fun to do the marriage scene from The Princess Bride, or some other silliness.

Fwashwights. Fwashwights are what bwings us….together…on weddit. That bwinding emitter. That hotspot within the beam.
….

Have you an HDS with wotary control wing?

ToyKeeper wrote:
I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Why do I get the sense that it is watching my computer monitor? Wink

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Cereal_killer wrote:
What is this vision pin / “optic nerve” in the fw3a hwdef file?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Now, back on topic…

I believe that he was asking what the vision pin and optic nerve actually were, the reason for either being included in the file or whatever else you could tell us about the two terms.

Domari Nolo “I Refuse to be Subjugated” (1st Pennsylvania Regiment Flag) https://www.1stcontinentalregiment.org/blank
(Flagguys.com):..and man o man did they ever refuse to be subjugated. These guys were everywhere. They were important in Washington’s siege of Boston. They stayed behind and were the last to leave after covering the main army’s dangerous nick of time retreat from Long Island. They crossed the Delaware with Washington. They were “..at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and every major skirmish, and battle all the way to Yorktown..” where they fought “the most important part of the siege” according to General Steuben. These guys saw action in every one of the original 13 colonies.

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Freedom wrote:
Cereal_killer wrote:
What is this vision pin / “optic nerve” in the fw3a hwdef file?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Now, back on topic…

I believe that he was asking what the vision pin and optic nerve actually were, the reason for either being included in the file or whatever else you could tell us about the two terms.


It’s actually talked about in this thread, somewhere way back ago. TK has come up with a way to program the driver using the main LED as a receiver and literally “flashing” the driver with a computer screen. The FW3A will NOT have this functionality, but the firmware has code for it, because it is firmware that will work for more than just the FW3A. It’s really cool stuff. But maybe not as cool as a flashlight that can spy on people. Steve

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

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DavidEF wrote:
Freedom wrote:
Cereal_killer wrote:
What is this vision pin / “optic nerve” in the fw3a hwdef file?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Now, back on topic…

I believe that he was asking what the vision pin and optic nerve actually were, the reason for either being included in the file or whatever else you could tell us about the two terms.


It’s actually talked about in this thread, somewhere way back ago. TK has come up with a way to program the driver using the main LED as a receiver and literally “flashing” the driver with a computer screen. The FW3A will NOT have this functionality, but the firmware has code for it, because it is firmware that will work for more than just the FW3A. It’s really cool stuff. But maybe not as cool as a flashlight that can spy on people. Steve

Is it like the Oveready Boss programing?

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Wow that’s cool, I would love to read up on the idea if anyone’s got any links. I have a few driver projects going on now following the FW3A driver setup so maybe it’s something I could implement too in the future.

 RIP  SPC Joey Riley, KIA 11/24/14. Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

kanton
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DavidEF wrote:
Freedom wrote:
Cereal_killer wrote:
What is this vision pin / “optic nerve” in the fw3a hwdef file?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Now, back on topic…

I believe that he was asking what the vision pin and optic nerve actually were, the reason for either being included in the file or whatever else you could tell us about the two terms.


It’s actually talked about in this thread, somewhere way back ago. TK has come up with a way to program the driver using the main LED as a receiver and literally “flashing” the driver with a computer screen. The FW3A will NOT have this functionality, but the firmware has code for it, because it is firmware that will work for more than just the FW3A. It’s really cool stuff. But maybe not as cool as a flashlight that can spy on people. Steve

Is there a thread about this? I plan on doing something similar.

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Cereal_killer wrote:
Wow that's cool, I would love to read up on the idea if anyone's got any links. I have a few driver projects going on now following the FW3A driver setup so maybe it's something I could implement too in the future.

Actually I was the one who brought this up on BLF - an EE friend at work mentioned it and I posted bout it, and TK actually did something about it. It's not truly new/unique - it's been done before in flashlights, just didn't make it the the big league. Forget the make/brand, but it was pricey - maybe 3-6 years ago.

Edit: think hexbright: http://bestflashlighthq.com/hexbright-flex-world-smartest-flashlight/, I could be wrong...

 

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Tixx][quote=DavidEF][quote=Freedom wrote:
Cereal_killer wrote:
What is this vision pin / “optic nerve” in the fw3a hwdef file?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that we are definitely, absolutely, unequivocally not using the FW3A to spy on anyone. Only crazy people would think that.

Is it like the Oveready Boss programing?


Why do you think they call it Boss?
Who controls that programming?
What country do they live in?
Behind what curtain?
Made of what metal?
(Lol)
Tom E
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The idea is a LED is a diode - it can react to light (detect light), not just emit it. So, the theory is hold the light up to a screen (cell phone for ex.), and with a series of timed blinks, it can be programmed - not much extra hardware required, so cheap method, and effective.

 

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Thanks for the explanation(s) and education.

Domari Nolo “I Refuse to be Subjugated” (1st Pennsylvania Regiment Flag) https://www.1stcontinentalregiment.org/blank
(Flagguys.com):..and man o man did they ever refuse to be subjugated. These guys were everywhere. They were important in Washington’s siege of Boston. They stayed behind and were the last to leave after covering the main army’s dangerous nick of time retreat from Long Island. They crossed the Delaware with Washington. They were “..at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and every major skirmish, and battle all the way to Yorktown..” where they fought “the most important part of the siege” according to General Steuben. These guys saw action in every one of the original 13 colonies.

ToyKeeper
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Freedom wrote:
I believe that he was asking …

It seems not everyone recognized the presence of a joke.

A while back, I taught a flashlight how to see, how to receive information from a computer screen using its own built-in LEDs as a sensor. And in my excitement, I asked DEL to add the requisite connections for this on the FW3A driver since it had an unused pin. And he did.

But in the process of developing a working proof of concept, I discovered that the concept is not actually very useful or practical. It’s about as useful as putting a sun roof on a motorcycle. Transferring data that way is slow, awkward, fragile, complicated, high-risk, low-reward, and did I mention slow? It’d take hours to transfer an entire ROM, and could quite easily brick itself. It didn’t seem worth the cost in terms of ROM bytes and development time. So I kinda abandoned the idea.

The optic nerve is still there in case anyone wants to use it, but the Lux-RC (Boss) optical programming thing isn’t really a practical feature; it’s more of a novelty or a way to entertain the user.

Firelight2
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Freedom wrote:
I believe that he was asking …

It seems not everyone recognized the presence of a joke.

A while back, I taught a flashlight how to see, how to receive information from a computer screen using its own built-in LEDs as a sensor. And in my excitement, I asked DEL to add the requisite connections for this on the FW3A driver since it had an unused pin. And he did.

But in the process of developing a working proof of concept, I discovered that the concept is not actually very useful or practical. It’s about as useful as putting a sun roof on a motorcycle. Transferring data that way is slow, awkward, fragile, complicated, high-risk, low-reward, and did I mention slow? It’d take hours to transfer an entire ROM, and could quite easily brick itself. It didn’t seem worth the cost in terms of ROM bytes and development time. So I kinda abandoned the idea.

The optic nerve is still there in case anyone wants to use it, but the Lux-RC (Boss) optical programming thing isn’t really a practical feature; it’s more of a novelty or a way to entertain the user.

How about using your optical programming thing with a phone app?

Make an app that lets you customize a few options in your driver. What you want your ramp settings at or shortcuts. Minimal things like that.

Then you could use your optical sensor as a way to get these inputs from the phone to the light. As long as the amount of data being transferred is mininal the slow data-transfer speed shouldn’t be an issue.

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No! KIS, use Blu2th!

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

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Ohh yes, that's the company: Lux-RC here: http://lux-rc.com/content/NXS/NXS_R1_setup

Would still be a great option for custom config - easier, way less data, can't brick it, and yes - from a cell phone. But real practical issues do get in the way, as TK said.

Also bluetooth has been done before, never quite made it - metal reflector interfered w/signal, expensive, bulky, software/app issues w/compatibility, etc. Not saying it shouldn't be explored with more recent tech, or other wireless options.

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I don’t get it. I mean, really. I’ve built literally hundreds of drivers for hundreds of lights, very rarely change the UI after the fact. I don’t see the need, it’s not like it’s such a big deal to pull the driver and re-flash it if it becomes necessary or desired. I mean, it really isn’t much more difficult than, say, brushing your teeth before bedtime. So why go to all the trouble to make it “easy”? Like having your teeth pulled and getting dentures so you can drop your teeth in a glass for overnight cleaning while you sleep cause your’e tired of brushing them. Wink

kanton
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Transferring data that way is slow, awkward, fragile, complicated, high-risk, low-reward, and did I mention slow? It’d take hours to transfer an entire ROM, and could quite easily brick itself. It didn’t seem worth the cost in terms of ROM bytes and development time. So I kinda abandoned the idea.

As I had something similar in mind (just flashing options and the scheme which action results in which state, if that’s possible) – please forgive me if I am asking something stupid or did some mistakes, but why is it that slow? A PC monitor should provide 60Hz input, so 60b/s, which would be somewhere around 26kB/h without error correction, so 1kB should be able to be transmitted in less than 3 minutes without corrections, with heavy error correction and checksumming probably still in less than 10(?).

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If TK says the result is an easy brick, then trust that it is so. When the Goddess gives up on it, there is no magic… Wink

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Firelight2 wrote:
How about using your optical programming thing with a phone app?

Make an app that lets you customize a few options in your driver.

Yes, that is what it would be limited to. But making a cross-platform app which runs on everyone’s devices is no easy task. So I’d probably design it as a web page with most of the features implemented via javascript. And then make a different version of the page for each version of each supported model of flashlight. Abstract out the options so each version and each light can be loaded in from a bunch of definition files. The app would most likely involve significantly more code than the actual firmware it’s meant to configure.

But doing it via a phone app isn’t really much faster or easier than clicking the button a few times to configure it. And if the flashlight needs a companion app in order to configure it, that’s mostly a sign of a bad UI design.

It could be pretty useful as a means of reflashing the firmware or for makers who want an easy way to calibrate things before shipping an item to a customer. Sending an entire ROM is slow though. With no meaningful control over the device being used to transmit data, it would be unsafe to assume a high frame rate. In a browser, for example, even 15 fps may be pushing it. And although the sensor is pretty fast, the sender (screen) is generally pretty slow and possibly even inconsistent because it’s common to see timing aberrations when other parts of the system are busy. Like, if the OS decides to do a routine maintenance task in the middle of transmission, the browser is likely to lose some time slices here and there. So the data transmission timing windows need to be pretty large. And it’ll need a way to detect corrupt or failed data transfers. But when errors happen, the light has no way to send data back so it can’t request corrections. It may thus be necessary to send each byte two or three times to be sure.

Basically, with all the complications added up, it’s an awful lot of effort for very little benefit, and would only be usable for small amounts of data. Maybe a few dozen bytes. And it would likely mean removing other firmware features to make room.

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Tom E wrote:

The idea is a LED is a diode – it can react to light (detect light), not just emit it. So, the theory is hold the light up to a screen (cell phone for ex.), and with a series of timed blinks, it can be programmed – not much extra hardware required, so cheap method, and effective.


 


Actually an LED gives of a bit of current when you shine on it.

Try this, if you can:
Shine a laser on one of 2 LEDs connected in parallel.
The other one will light up. (yes, very dim of course).

I discovered this when my cheapo blue / purple laser still worked.
I had a bunch of 5730 LEDs on a LED board, in parallel.
I was playing “excite the phosphor with a laser” Silly and then i noticed all the other LEDs lit up (yes, dimly of course).

2Q19

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DB Custom wrote:
I don’t get it. I mean, really. I’ve built literally hundreds of drivers for hundreds of lights, very rarely change the UI after the fact. I don’t see the need, it’s not like it’s such a big deal to pull the driver and re-flash it if it becomes necessary or desired. I mean, it really isn’t much more difficult than, say, brushing your teeth before bedtime. So why go to all the trouble to make it “easy”? Like having your teeth pulled and getting dentures so you can drop your teeth in a glass for overnight cleaning while you sleep cause your’e tired of brushing them. Wink

It would be cool if it were possible via the USB charging port, if a light has one.

2Q19

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ToyKeeper wrote:
[…]
The optic nerve is still there in case anyone wants to use it, but the Lux-RC (Boss) optical programming thing isn’t really a practical feature; it’s more of a novelty or a way to entertain the user.

My BOSS 70 is my second most used light and I would very much disagree that the optical programming is not practical. It makes the initial programming much easier than, for example, an H17F and I don’t need a cheat sheet to remember various combinations of clicks. I can also keep a few other programs downloaded as videos on my phone if in case I want to change the mode groups for single mode, CR123 friendly, etc.

I don’t really see it being useful on anduril as there isn’t much end user tweaking to be done, but for programmable mode groups I find it to be a very nice feature.

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marry_me 

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Random Dan wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
[…]
The optic nerve is still there in case anyone wants to use it, but the Lux-RC (Boss) optical programming thing isn’t really a practical feature; it’s more of a novelty or a way to entertain the user.

My BOSS 70 is my second most used light and I would very much disagree that the optical programming is not practical. It makes the initial programming much easier than, for example, an H17F and I don’t need a cheat sheet to remember various combinations of clicks. I can also keep a few other programs downloaded as videos on my phone if in case I want to change the mode groups for single mode, CR123 friendly, etc.

I don’t really see it being useful on anduril as there isn’t much end user tweaking to be done, but for programmable mode groups I find it to be a very nice feature.

Agreed. I have a gaggle of Boss and Minions, I love that method of programming. Being able to scroll through example brightness levels and pick my choices is brilliant.
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TL;DR: I’m rambling and ranting about optic-nerve stuff from 2017. Feel free to ignore.

Although I hadn’t heard of it when I made the optic nerve thing, I quickly discovered the Oveready BOSS and other Lux-RC lights because people brought those up when I told them about what I made. So I looked into those.

What I found was:

  • The BOSS appears to use about 16 bytes of config data.
  • It takes about 20 seconds to transmit this data, giving a transfer rate of ~0.8 B/s or 2.8 KiB / hour. This is very similar to what I found in my tests. Plus, it takes about 20 seconds to set things up and get the light into programming mode beforehand.
  • The UI allows up to 2 mode groups, each with up to 4 modes.
  • The mode group is chosen at boot time, by battery voltage. One group for the single-cell configuration, and one group for a 2-cell configuration. So it is not a usable method for working around the 4-mode limit.
  • With only 4 modes, an evenly-spaced distribution would be 0.2 lm, 153 lm, 1036 lm, and 3300 lm. I find these to be way too far apart.
  • Blinkies include SOS, beacon, and strobe… but to get any of these, the user must sacrifice slots from the 4 available in the mode group. There are no other blinkies (like battcheck) and no hidden-blinky function.
  • There is also a dim red mode which activates any time the light sensor is overloaded, so the user can flash turbo against their palm to get to a dim red mode. This is not possible when using the LED itself as a sensor though, so the FW3A wouldn’t be able to do it. Lux-RC/BOSS uses a separate light sensor instead, for the sole purpose of adding this feature.
  • The optical sensor is the only way to configure the light.
  • An animated GIF can be used instead of the app, if one takes the time to encode their preferred settings into a GIF.

To send an entire attiny85 ROM of 8192 bytes, it would take about 2.5 to 3 hours. Given a suitable bootloader, like maybe 512 bytes at the beginning which is only used to reflash the rest, this could be reasonably safe but it would be painfully slow and error-prone. In the interest of reducing errors, it could send each byte twice and then take about 5 hours. But it would be able to completely reprogram the light with no hardware aside from the flashlight itself and a web browser. Just make sure the flashlight battery is full, and make sure the display device is plugged in, has all screensavers disabled, and won’t be disturbed.

I found it particularly odd that it only allows up to 4 modes… especially with such a wide output range. At that point, it hardly even seems worthwhile to make it programmable because none of the possible configurations are anywhere near what I’d want. At least allow 8, or even better, 16. Some people like as many as 20 different stepped ramp levels on their D4S. And I’ve used 31 distinct levels on occasion for testing purposes. Some of my clicky lights have close to 20 different modes, including all the blinkies. So 4 just seems unnecessarily restrictive.

And choosing the mode groups based on the number of batteries was really odd too. It would take a full minute and a habit of carrying extra batteries and maybe an extra tube in order to change groups. And getting to the red moon involves a trip through turbo, unless it’s configured as one of the main 4 modes. So then the config could, I guess, be “red, 10 lm, 600 lm, 3300 lm”.

Anyway, long story short… I would do a lot of things differently. So, um, I did do a lot of things differently. And I found I didn’t really need an optical sensor and a phone app in order to configure things, so I didn’t use it. On the FW3A, and on other Anduril lights, I hope people like the solutions I came up with instead.

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Downloading data from a monitor is not a new tech. I had one of theses watch : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timex_Datalink

Robert

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Random Dan wrote:
My BOSS 70 is my second most used light and I would very much disagree that the optical programming is not practical. It makes the initial programming much easier than, for example, an H17F …

This is very true. It’s especially cool how people can save a GIF or a video on their phone in order to reconfigure the light. It’s like having bookmarks for favorite configurations.

OTOH, the H17F is a good example of how not to design a configuration interface. It’s better than HiveLD, but that’s not saying much.

Instead of requiring detailed configuration and a lengthy programming manual, it’s often preferable to design away the need for most of those options… and then, for the few who really want to get into detail, open the floodgates all the way by making the source code open and relatively easy to edit and flash. Cover the majority’s needs with a few simple options, and give full unrestricted freedom to people who want it. Allow choice, to whatever level of detail is desired… but don’t inflict choice on those who don’t want it.

At least, that’s what I try to do. I don’t always succeed though.

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Jerommel wrote:
Tom E wrote:

The idea is a LED is a diode – it can react to light (detect light), not just emit it. So, the theory is hold the light up to a screen (cell phone for ex.), and with a series of timed blinks, it can be programmed – not much extra hardware required, so cheap method, and effective.


 


Actually an LED gives of a bit of current when you shine on it.

Try this, if you can:
Shine a laser on one of 2 LEDs connected in parallel.
The other one will light up. (yes, very dim of course).

I discovered this when my cheapo blue / purple laser still worked.
I had a bunch of 5730 LEDs on a LED board, in parallel.
I was playing “excite the phosphor with a laser” Silly and then i noticed all the other LEDs lit up (yes, dimly of course).

I have a Olight that if I shine about 1000 Lumens into the lens of the light it will make it come on in the mid mode. S1A Cu.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

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