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

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TMaxxJJ
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Been watching this for a while now!
Please put me down for two, one of each.

cabfrank
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I suppose going off topic in this thread is completely acceptable, or maybe the norm, so just out of curiosity, Dale, what is your brightest EE X6, and which is your current favorite? I ask because I have a couple I love as well. Wink

Klayking
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BlueSwordM wrote:
@Klayking

1. The Zebralight would still be more efficient than buck/boost driver. LED efficiency would be better than a single 3V emitter light, but driver efficiency will not be as good.

2. It should be higher since it’s using a 1+7+FET driver, instead of 3+FET.

Thanks for the explanation!

autoxer
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After seeing the awesome updates I am totally regretting canceling my second light.

Please go ahead and add me in for another light, bringing my total back up to 2 lights.

And thank you again!!

iamlucky13
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Klayking wrote:
1) If we were to compare the FW3A to a similarly sized flashlight known for efficiency, such as the Zebralight SC64, would the FW3A be roughly as efficient? One of the main reasons I’m hyped is because of the higher regulation on the FW3A vs an Emisar D4, but I’m not very well versed in how it all works so I’m trying to gauge efficiency by using examples of well known flashlight models in the community.

2) In ToyKeeper’s Emisar D4 review, she listed all of the ramping steps. These seem to be the same on the Emisar D4S and I was able to use them to configure my D4S’ stepped levels very specifically. Will these steps also be the same on the FW3A, as it is running Anduril? I’d like to be able to set my ramp ceiling right at the highest regulated mode for efficiency, and it is nice to know where that is exactly.

1) The Zebralight will be more efficient due mainly to their buck drivers, versus the linear regulators in the FW3A. Here’s some examples of measurements Maukka has done:

SC64C (90 CRI XP-L2): 140 lm/W on lower output, 106 lm/W on high.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/58833

Emisar D4 (80 CRI 219C): 84 lm/W at regulated channel, ~67 lm/W on medium FET
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1168204#comment-1168204

There is, of course, a ~2x difference in price, and you trade Anduril for a different UI (although one that is still well-liked by most users).

  • Edit – Since Maukka now has numbers in his review, the FW3A with XP-L HI showed 93 lm/W at max 1×7135 channel, and 85 lm/W at max regulated level.

2) The default ramp ceiling for both smooth and discrete modes for the FW3A build of Anduril is the maximum regulated level.

If you want both channel boundaries, for the FW3A specifically, you can set the minimum ramp at level 1, the maximum at level 130, and 7 steps. This will result in mode 4 being the maximum 1×7135 channel, and mode 7 being the maximum 7×7135 channel.

contactcr
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It’s not really a fair comparison. XP-L2 is very efficient, 219C not as much.

LH351D right up there with XP-L2 in efficiency and the additional 7135’s add more efficiency to the medium modes.

This frosted lens will also be a few % worse too. In any case the Zebralight will still probably be more efficient but the FW3A will be closer and have a better range of efficient modes as well.

Cobra502
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contactcr wrote:
It’s not really a fair comparison. XP-L2 is very efficient, 219C not as much.

LH351D right up there with XP-L2 in efficiency and the additional 7135’s add more efficiency to the medium modes.

This frosted lens will also be a few % worse too. In any case the Zebralight will still probably be more efficient but the FW3A will be closer and have a better range of efficient modes as well.

And half the price with a far superior UI and rear tail clicky.

DB Custom
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My brightest X6 is 10,660 lumens, my favorite is the solid copper one-off with it’s Nichia NVSU333A UV emitter, but only by a slight margin. The Tritted Titanium X6 is pretty close…

shirnask
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Please add 2 more for me making a total of 6 Facepalm

(I’m giving away all but 2)

Yeah, I’m sticking to that story

LOTL
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My first group buy and post on BLF.
In for 1!

saypat
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… one could get a lot less for more money, WHY is this so affordable? Shhhhh, quiet!

raccoon city
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saypat wrote:

... one could get a lot less for more money, WHY is this so affordable? Shhhhh, quiet!

quiet_you

;)

cabfrank
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10,660 is obscene!

DB Custom
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So, if I were to buy an FW3A, how many lumens would be too many lumens? Wink

Yourrid
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DB Custom wrote:
So, if I were to buy an FW3A, how many lumens would be too many lumens? Wink

DB Custom
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LOL, maybe the other direction… high CRI lower output emitters, high capacity cell for run time. Quality over quantity.

What? It could happen!

DavidEF
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DB Custom wrote:
LOL, maybe the other direction… high CRI lower output emitters, high capacity cell for run time. Quality over quantity.

What? It could happen!


There you go… put a handful of Yuji emitters in there! How about the BC-3030?

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

Yourrid
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For me, it’s about output first and foremost. If we could pack 30,000+ lumens into a package the size of an Emisar D4 with a 18350 tube that (somehow) doesn’t get hot SUPER quick, that’s what I’d like to see.

Question for you Dale: of all the emitters you’ve used over the years, is there much of a difference in heat created by different emitters running at the same wattage? Does a XML2, XPL2, XHP35 etc heat up the same at say… 10 watts? I wonder if there will ever be technology that would give us LED’s that don’t get hot as quickly and could give us 30,000 lumens in a pocketable flashlight.

Tom E
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LOTL wrote:
My first group buy and post on BLF. In for 1!

Welcome to BLF! You got in on a good one, and at a good point.

JasonWW
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Yourrid wrote:
For me, it’s about output first and foremost. If we could pack 30,000+ lumens into a package the size of an Emisar D4 with a 18350 tube that (somehow) doesn’t get hot SUPER quick, that’s what I’d like to see.

This sounds less like a flashlight and more like a camera flash. Lol

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DB Custom
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WELL, 10 watts from an MT-G2 doesn’t make much heat. Especially from a 9V variant MT-G2. Barely running. 10 watts from an XHP-35 is pretty miserly as well, still making lumens, just running well within it’s limits. See a pattern here?

30,000 lumens, pocketable, and we win the lottery twice a year, right? All fly Lear Jets and drive Corvettes? See a pattern here? Even if the emitter technology headed us that direction, what Alien is going to bring the battery technology up to par? Can’t say it won’t happen, but it’s doubtful I’ll live to see it… never know though. My Dad is 90, remembers lighting their house with kerosene lamps…

Yourrid
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Hahaha I guess one can dream right! I kind of figured watts = energy = heat in one way or another. I was just curious as to wheather the newer LED’s were getting exponentially more efficient in energy to output or not really.

I suppose the next step would be to put a laser behind a diffuser lens and see what you get. Maybe a triple; red, blue, green lasers with a heavily frosted optic.

Or just carry around a MT09R Thumbs Up

DB Custom
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The thing is that we tend to push these emitters up against the ceiling, and of course they’re inefficient up there. We need to lower our demands to conserve that heat and bring them into the realm of efficiency, maybe use 70.2’s in 12V at lower current and use more of them, something like that. Like the SST-40 really shines over an XM-L2, but not so much at lower levels as the Cree is more efficient down there. So we need some lights like this one that are elegant, stylish, more of the gentleman’s EDC than a Search and Rescue master blaster. There needs to be diversity, not an all or nothing approach.

Y’all didn’t think I could see that, did ya? Silly Of course I like making a light do all it can do, but when I use them I typically spend most of my time in level 4 or 5 of 7. Wink

This is one of the things I love about Anduril, it’s two lights in one… the ramp ceiling keeps the light sane, a good all around working light. Double click to find the alter ego… Big Smile

DBSS
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I’d like to grab one please

WeeG
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Put me down for one, please.

ToyKeeper
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ActiveAl wrote:
ToyKeeper, I would like to donate a small gift to show my appreciation. Where do I send it? Thanks.

I haven’t set up anything yet. I’ve been a bit busy testing the light today…

… which brings up a thing people should be aware of for these samples. They seem to have shipped with 10508 or 10509 optics, which are both significantly more floody than the 10511 optic it is intended to have. I heard back from Neal today about this, and Lumintop hasn’t received its order of 10511 optics yet so they used some others they had in stock.

Klayking wrote:
1) If we were to compare the FW3A to a similarly sized flashlight known for efficiency, such as the Zebralight SC64, would the FW3A be roughly as efficient?

2) In ToyKeeper’s Emisar D4 review, she listed all of the ramping steps. These seem to be the same on the Emisar D4S and I was able to use them to configure my D4S’ stepped levels very specifically. Will these steps also be the same on the FW3A, as it is running Anduril? I’d like to be able to set my ramp ceiling right at the highest regulated mode for efficiency, and it is nice to know where that is exactly.

1. No. Zebralights use buck/boost drivers, which are more efficient than linear drivers. The FW3A uses a linear driver.

2. The ramp is not the same as the D4. The full details are in the cfg-fw3a.h file, but here’s a summary:

  • 1 to 65: 1×7135
  • 66 to 130: 8×7135
  • 131 to 149: 8×7135 + FET
  • 150: FET only
saypat
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I like floody. How much more floody is the 10508 than the10511? And can I purchase this 10508 optic somewhere and just drop it in myself without issue? The beam shown on Maukka’s review looked terrific to me!

JasonWW
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I’m hoping at least one of the prototype testers can swap a 10511 from one of their other lights and put it on the FW3A so we can see what the pattern really looks like.

With the wrong optic and emitter, we can’t really evaluate that whole aspect of the light. Bummer.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

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JasonWW
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saypat wrote:
I like floody. How much more floody is the 10508 than the 10511? And can I purchase this 10508 optic somewhere and just drop it in myself without issue? The beam shown on Maukka’s review looked terrific to me!

The 10511 is called a narrow spot.
The 10508 is called a medium spot.
The 10509 is called a wide spot.
All of the above are frosted.

The 10507 is the non-frosted, clear version with a narrow spot.

I don’t know the beam angles, but the hot spot diameter is what changes. The wider the spot, the less throw distance.

They should be very easy to swap out.

For people in the USA, all these are available from MTN E.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

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ToyKeeper
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I’m still testing and measuring and taking pictures, so I’ll have more details later… however, here are some initial notes on the FW3A sample I received today:

The good:

  • Almost everything about this light is made well, and is what I was hoping for.
  • The grey finish looks nice.
  • The host in general is high quality with precise machining.
  • The button feels a lot more solid than earlier versions. I haven’t had any issues at all with missed button presses.
  • The clip is perfect, with none of the minor machining issues seen on earlier units.
  • The light is ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
  • I don’t see any weirdness in the anodizing, like the prototypes had.
  • Output is steady and stable even at moon level.
  • All the firmware features appear to work correctly.
  • Except a couple things noted below, everything appears to be correct, up to spec, and otherwise in order. That’s not a thing I can say often, even about production lights.

The bad:

  • On mine, there was an issue with the driver fitting into place in the pill. It looks like the pill’s driver shelf wasn’t cut wide enough, so it rested off-center on top of the correct space instead of in the correct space. I fixed mine manually, by filing down the edges of the driver and dremelling the pill a little farther open. This was weird, because no prototypes had this issue, and it looks like maukka’s light doesn’t have this issue either.
  • Mine shipped with firmware from 2018-12-02 instead of 2019-01-05. I’m hoping the real thing will have a newer version, but there isn’t much changed so either one is okay.

Misc notes:

  • The optic is a 10508 or 10509, not 10511. So it’s even floodier than the real thing is expected to be. Beam shots on these won’t look the same as the production units.
  • Lumintop hasn’t received their order of XP-L HI 3D emitters yet, so they used extras they had in stock. On maukka’s, this meant ~5700K, maybe a 2B tint. On mine, it was ~4000K, like a 5A or 5D tint.

I’m not really a fan of warm tints, but this 5A/5D isn’t bad. I like it a lot more than the SST-20 4000K 95CRI light I had for a while, so I think I’ll leave it this way. The only nicer ~4000K tint I’ve seen was a Nichia 219B.

So I’ll be checking on each other sample in detail to make sure there were no other issues. The only important issue was the driver not fitting quite right on mine, but it seems likely this was not typical. Everything else is minor and/or should be resolved simply by waiting for parts to arrive.

I’ll get pictures and measurements up in a bit.

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