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

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cabfrank
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Yep, it has taken a while, but we are all hoping it is getting close to production.

mortuus
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hm so even flat top cells can be an issue is that correct ?

...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

djozz
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dropman wrote:
Ok. But what about feedback from manufacturer? As I understand, some production samples where made and sent to few volunteers for testing. I see three reviews, but why there are no information from manufacturer like, what is the status and when they plan to make first 2000 lights? Can someone, who knows better, guess or just ask manufacturer actual status?

You can wonder why it goes like this, figure out how the process would go better, even conclude that the improved process would benefit both manufacturer and customer, and you could be right in all aspects.

But the simple truth is that when working with chinese flashlight manufacturers the process does not follow common sense. Communication can be slow or absent at times, and that is just one aspect of the process that is troublesome.

What may just happen is that while we expect the latest feedback to be incorporated in a final design, the flashlight goes on sale without notice to the development team, without minding the feedback. Once customer complaints about the design/manufacturing flaws start rolling in, they just improve the next batch.

If you can not live with that, it is best not to get too involved in these BLF projects, or just wait until a finalised batch with all flaws ironed out hits the market.

teacher
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funkychateau wrote:
Teacher,

From what I’ve been able to glean, even if the driver recess in prototype 3 had been correctly machined, only the very shortest of button-top cells would be likely to work. Is that your opinion as well?

Honestly, the only opinion I have is if the total length of the cell (battery) is 66 mm or under it should fit.

If it is over 66 mm total length it’s probably not going to fit.

“Total length” is referring to anything that makes the battery longer, whether that be a button top, a solder b(. )( .)b, …… anything.

That is honestly all I know. I just take what I read in the OP at face value. “Maximum length is 66 mm”.

It is what it is…….

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

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BlueSwordM
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See, there are 2 problems we face here:

1. We don’t speak mandarin.

2. We aren’t based in China/don’t go in China.

It would help immensely if there weren’t a language barrier.

Also, if we were all based in the same timezone, that would make communication much quicker.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

KawiBoy1428
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djozz wrote:
dropman wrote:
Ok. But what about feedback from manufacturer? As I understand, some production samples where made and sent to few volunteers for testing. I see three reviews, but why there are no information from manufacturer like, what is the status and when they plan to make first 2000 lights? Can someone, who knows better, guess or just ask manufacturer actual status?

You can wonder why it goes like this, figure out how the process would go better, even conclude that the improved process would benefit both manufacturer and customer, and you could be right in all aspects.

But the simple truth is that when working with chinese flashlight manufacturers the process does not follow common sense. Communication can be slow or absent at times, and that is just one aspect of the process that is troublesome.

What may just happen is that while we expect the latest feedback to be incorporated in a final design, the flashlight goes on sale without notice to the development team, without minding the feedback. Once customer complaints about the design/manufacturing flaws start rolling in, they just improve the next batch.

If you can not live with that, it is best not to get too involved in these BLF projects, or just wait until a finalised batch with all flaws ironed out hits the market.


Word! Wink Thumbs Up Now let’s get back to the off topic jive….. Beer

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

funkychateau
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teacher wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
Teacher,

From what I’ve been able to glean, even if the driver recess in prototype 3 had been correctly machined, only the very shortest of button-top cells would be likely to work. Is that your opinion as well?

Honestly, the only opinion I have is if the total length of the cell (battery) is 66 mm or under it should fit.

If it is over 66 mm total length it’s probably not going to fit.

“Total length” is referring to anything that makes the battery longer, whether that be a button top, a solder b(. )( .)b, …… anything.

That is honestly all I know. I just take what I read in the OP at face value. “Maximum length is 66 mm”.

It is what it is…….

Got it. When I return to Dallas (I’m currently traveling), I think I’ll measure all of my high-drain button-top batteries to see how this design lines up.

I’ll assume that the 66-mm max length applies WITH a correctly-machined driver cavity.

hobapolight
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definitely want this! signing up for further information.

Eraursls1984
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ToyKeeper wrote:

However, it’s still happening faster than many Kickstarter projects. My experience with those has generally been about 3 or 4 years between buy-in and actual product delivery.

Wow, I’ve only been involved in a handful of Kickstarter projects and all have been completed within 4-9 months. Most of the work on those has already been done though.
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funkychateau wrote:
Got it. When I return to Dallas (I’m currently traveling), I think I’ll measure all of my high-drain button-top batteries to see how this design lines up.

I’ll assume that the 66-mm max length applies WITH a correctly-machined driver cavity.

If you are using a (Vernier) caliper: make sure you don’t short circuit the battery or you’ll be in for a surprise.

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

saypat
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From what I’ve been able to glean, even if the driver recess in prototype 3 had been correctly machined …


I saw the diagram a few times. If the space the driver fits in needs to be a certain measurement, and that measurement is supplied, how then do they miss it? Curious.

teacher
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funkychateau wrote:
teacher wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
Teacher,

From what I’ve been able to glean, even if the driver recess in prototype 3 had been correctly machined, only the very shortest of button-top cells would be likely to work. Is that your opinion as well?

Honestly, the only opinion I have is if the total length of the cell (battery) is 66 mm or under it should fit.

If it is over 66 mm total length it’s probably not going to fit.

“Total length” is referring to anything that makes the battery longer, whether that be a button top, a solder b(. )( .)b, …… anything.

That is honestly all I know. I just take what I read in the OP at face value. “Maximum length is 66 mm”.

It is what it is…….

Got it. When I return to Dallas (I’m currently traveling), I think I’ll measure all of my high-drain button-top batteries to see how this design lines up.

I’ll assume that the 66-mm max length applies WITH a correctly-machined driver cavity.

Sounds like a plan…. Thumbs Up

I think (hope) that is a safe assumption.
I personally cannot imagine they would send out lights on a large scale with an improperly sized driver cavity. That would indeed creat a large mess for LT I think. A massive mess in fact. I have ever confidence that will be fixed. Here's to hoping I am right..... . Beer

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

       Texas Lumens Flashlights / M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$  

         Rudeness Level _ mΩ _ {width:70%} _ LightWiki _ LED Tint Chart  

      Xlamp size chart _ BatteryU _ Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???            TheOriginal _ TAB _ LightSearch _ BatterySearch _ 14500's _ DiCal 

 

                                             

JasonWW
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saypat wrote:

I saw the diagram a few times. If the space the driver fits in needs to be a certain measurement, and that measurement is supplied, how then do they miss it? Curious.

It could be a case of the driver cavity machined too small or it could be a case of the driver diameter being a tiny bit too large. The drivers are made by an outside supplier.
cswingle
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I am interested in one when available. Thanks.

Christopher Swingley
Fairbanks, AK
https://swingleydev.com/

PeasFull
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I think you vastly underestimate the market for these lights. Its a niche product, the vast majority of customers use AA batteries or want to recharge the flashlight directly with a usb cable. People on this forum often say call 18650 batteries cheap, but to a normal person $5 is a lot of money for a flashlight battery.

The reality of sales is that customers don’t make informed decisions, how it is marketed has a greater affect.

I think its quite insane how much flashlight companies work with BLF. From what I can tell, companies like Lumitop are footing the bill, and starting production with just verbal agreements of forum members saying that they will buy one.

The keyboard community has it so much worse. They have to do group buys and gather all of the money first, then place their order with the manufacturer at a high markup. A custom keyboard is super expensive because 200-1000 orders is not enough volume to get a good deal from the manufacturers. Once a groupbuy is completed you can pretty much guarantee that you can’t get that keyboard ever again (unless the creator stocks extras that are sold at an insanely high markup, or decides to do another group buy a year or two later). Meanwhile, BLF lights continue to be produced and sold years after the initial run.

Also, when working with chinese companies, you need a lot of prototypes because they don’t trust foreign people/respect them and its not like we are making them rich with our 1000-2000 purchases of a $30 light. If their profit margin is 50%, they’d only be making $30,000 for their troubles. Thats nothing compared to the volume of business they do in a year.

JasonWW
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PeasFull wrote:
I think you vastly underestimate the market for these lights.

To whom are you directing this to?
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dropman wrote:
Maybe it will sound strange but am I the only one who thinks that almost two years for flashlight development and putting into production is way too long?

It’s quite normal. Usually people don’t know when projects get started. Take Emisar for instance. It seems like they are just popping out new lights left and right, but the fact of the matter is that their lights have been in development for a very long time. We just didn’t see the development.

With the FW3A we can see the whole project go from a one off design to a full production unit. Being able to see this whole process is quite rare considering the hundreds of flashlight models that are currently on the market. Over the years there have been maybe less than a dozen models of lights where BLF was involved from the beginning. So it’s pretty rare to see it.

I’m sure you can understand why most product development is done in secrecy. A company would not want their design or idea to be stolen or duplicated by a competitor. Certain designs, like this one, are a bit harder to duplicate so we/they take the risk to talk about and show the whole process.

The flashlight companies still don’t talk much about the actual manufacturering process in order to keep their stuff secret.

heatwaves
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JasonWW wrote:
Take Emisar for instance. It seems like they are just popping out new lights left and right, but the fact of the matter is that their lights have been in development for a very long time. We just didn’t see the development. .

Salivating at the possibility that Emisar may have a couple of new flashlights somewhere in the works right now.

BlueSwordM
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See, the thing is with BLF group buys, the advantage is that most of the R&D is done here, and most the parts used are “commonly available” compared to say keyboards.

Let’s take the FW3A here:
1. The LEDs used are 3535 commonly available XP-L HI and LH351Ds in a triple setup, which allows for a lower price/LED when bought in bulk.

2. The driver and firmware have been designed by BLF members on their free time.

3. The design of the light and specifications have been done by BLF members.

Also, the parts/design can be used on other lights, like with the BLF Q8 spawning the Sofirn Q8, Sofirn SP36, Sofirn C8F 18650/21700, Lumintop GT/GT Mini/GT Micro.

It’s also been proven multiple times that BLF lights are extremely popular, and members almost always buy the lights.
We are a proven market, which isn’t too risky.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

ToyKeeper
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PeasFull wrote:
The keyboard community has it so much worse.

If I understand correctly, some keyboard companies (like Ajazz) have been willing to work with the community to do custom projects like BLF does… or at least customized products. But the community hasn’t really pursued that because it offers limited control and no profit? So the projects follow a different pattern instead.

It would take time and probably multiple projects to build a good relationship with keyboard companies, to get to a point similar to where BLF is at. It took a long time to go from group buys to special editions to completely custom products. I get the impression people haven’t been willing to follow that path though, because it’s too slow and it’s a lot of work for no compensation. Plus, keyboards require more extensive circuit designs and more extensive firmware, which raises the barrier to entry. But it seems like enough of that work is done now that it could maybe still be feasible.

Anyway, I’m not heavily involved in the keyboard community so I’m going based on outside impressions and limited involvement in a couple of the development subcommunities there. Regardless, it sounds like there are still some pretty nice items being made, and I look forward to some I’ve heard may be coming soon.

For now though, I’m typing on a keyboard I’ve customized quite a bit, configured so light splashes like raindrops at every keypress.

JasonWW
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Toykeeper wrote:


So you just memorize a whole new keyboard pattern?
I can barely memorize a qwerty and I still hen peck it. Ughh LOL
ToyKeeper
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JasonWW wrote:
So you just memorize a whole new keyboard pattern?

It doesn’t even have labels. I’m using blank white keycaps because it lets the light shine through better.

Maybe I should put up a video sometime soon. It looks like the keys are made out of white chocolate, except that they have rainbow lights splashing around underneath.

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I like your older keyboard.

I’d like to see the new one.

Marc E
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Maybe I should put up a video sometime soon. It looks like the keys are made out of white chocolate, except that they have rainbow lights splashing around underneath.

Pleeeeease! Big Smile
Does the absence of labels reduce the impact of the ‘Any’ key?
patchythepirate
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PeasFull wrote:

The keyboard community has it so much worse. They have to do group buys and gather all of the money first, then place their order with the manufacturer at a high markup. A custom keyboard is super expensive because 200-1000 orders is not enough volume to get a good deal from the manufacturers. Once a groupbuy is completed you can pretty much guarantee that you can’t get that keyboard ever again (unless the creator stocks extras that are sold at an insanely high markup, or decides to do another group buy a year or two later). Meanwhile, BLF lights continue to be produced and sold years after the initial run.


Yup. If you wanna do a group buy for custom keycaps (which usually costs more than $100) you have to give em your money first then wait up to a year (or more) to receive them. Right now there’s a group buy going on for keycaps where the chinese manufacturer hasn’t responded to messages in over a month.
koziy
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djozz wrote:
dropman wrote:
Ok. But what about feedback from manufacturer? As I understand, some production samples where made and sent to few volunteers for testing. I see three reviews, but why there are no information from manufacturer like, what is the status and when they plan to make first 2000 lights? Can someone, who knows better, guess or just ask manufacturer actual status?

You can wonder why it goes like this, figure out how the process would go better, even conclude that the improved process would benefit both manufacturer and customer, and you could be right in all aspects.

But the simple truth is that when working with chinese flashlight manufacturers the process does not follow common sense. Communication can be slow or absent at times, and that is just one aspect of the process that is troublesome.

What may just happen is that while we expect the latest feedback to be incorporated in a final design, the flashlight goes on sale without notice to the development team, without minding the feedback. Once customer complaints about the design/manufacturing flaws start rolling in, they just improve the next batch.

If you can not live with that, it is best not to get too involved in these BLF projects, or just wait until a finalised batch with all flaws ironed out hits the market.

I don’t have China experience, but there may be some generalization of West vs. Asia here. My experience working in a Japanese office is that there is a cultural barrier as well as a language barrier, and the cultural one is far more significant to our understanding, often resulting in those processes that don’t seem to follow common sense, as you describe. Our concept of a strong leader who can take executive control when the rabble can’t agree isn’t universally shared outside of the West. And again, I don’t know about China, but I saw meetings being held late into the night over the smallest, most trivial (in my opinion) stuff when I was in Japan because they wanted everyone to feel like their voices had been heard. When I suggested they just let a leader take all the evidence into consideration and make a suitable decision, or even to take an office-wide vote and go with the majority opinion, they looked at me like I didn’t have any common sense myself.

djozz
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^ not following common sense is the short answer, these questions have come up before and in the long answer I certainly brought up both the language and cultural barrier. Still even for a chinese company with their chinese way of doing things I think that following a “western” approach to developing new products would be beneficial overall.

…I think, it is an opinion.

electromage
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Big pre-order list, am I too late to get in on this?

CPF: electromage

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Johm
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electromage wrote:
Big pre-order list, am I too late to get in on this?

No you are not.

Your timing is actually perfect.

raccoon city
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electromage wrote:

Big pre-order list, am I too late to get in on this?

Nope.  ;)

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