FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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FW3A Team
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Location: This is not a real account. Contact Neal for support instead.
FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

The FW3A has now officially launched, with nearly 3000 items requested on the interest lists of two forums. And with such a big project, there will undoubtedly be some trouble. Come here to shoot it.

This is a place for people to get information about known issues and how to solve them. And a place to report new issues so they can be investigated.

Teacher has collected common questions into a FAQ for everyone’s convenience. Check here for a summary of the information posted so far: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67058

Quick Start

  1. Insert the battery from the front, not the back. Don’t remove the tailcap.
  2. If the light acts strange, make sure the driver retaining ring is tight. Also make sure the tailcap is tight — very tight. Loosen the tail a bit, loosen the head, then tighten the tail as much as you can by hand, then tighten the head.
  3. If you haven’t calibrated the temperature sensor yet, you probably should. This fixes things like “steps down in muggle mode”. The process is described here.

Quote:

To calibrate the temperature sensor:

  1. Let the light settle to room temperature.
  2. Go to the thermal config mode.
  3. At the first menu option, while the light flickers and waits for input, click to enter the current room temperature. This is typically about 20 to 25 C, meaning 20 to 25 clicks.
  4. Wait until the light falls out of the menu.

On this version of Anduril, here’s how to get to thermal config mode:

  1. From off, click 3 times. This goes to battery check mode.
  2. Click twice. This goes to sunset mode.
  3. Click twice. This goes to beacon mode.
  4. Click twice. This goes to temperature check mode.
  5. If you feel like it, let the light blink out what it thinks is the current temperature. On a new light, this number is probably wrong. Have a laugh.
  6. Click 4 times to reach thermal config.

This is also shown in the UI diagram. Follow the pink line:


How to get support / contact Neal

Neal is the primary retailer and main contact for purchase support. Here’s how to get in touch with him if you have a broken light or need other help:

FW3A thread – contact Neal on BLF or email for FW3A questions and support

Edited by: FW3A Team on 05/29/2019 - 02:05
ChibiM
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Good stuff. Hopefully it'll stay empty Wink

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I’ll start. So far, there is only one known issue with the FW3A: When using the stepped ramp, there is a 1-second delay between turning on at moon and being able to ramp up.

This was fixed only 20 minutes after it was reported, but it wasn’t reported until after the drivers had been produced. So it’s expected to be an issue in the first batch of production lights.

To reproduce this issue:

  1. Configure the light to use the stepped ramp.
  2. Turn the light off.
  3. Hold the button to turn on at the floor level.
  4. Release the button after the floor hint blink, to stay at the floor.
  5. Hold the button again within 1 second to ramp up.

Expected results: Brightness steps up.

Actual results: Brightness stays the same.

After one second has passed, everything works as expected.

This is considered a minor bug, and it has already been fixed upstream, but it’s here to let everyone know about it… and to provide an example of how to write a bug report. It helps to provide a description, detailed steps to reproduce the issue, and a description of both actual and expected results.

zak.wilson
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ToyKeeper wrote:
a description of both actual and expected results.

Everybody knows the best description of any issue is “it doesn’t work”.

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wle
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how hard is it to reflash them?

spinynorman
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It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Smile

WTF
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Yikes, how many lights were in the first batch?

Are there pictures of the driver available for those of us that have some mods in mind?

Does it use the same schematic as the TA drivers?

Lexel
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Maybe a little late but an Aux board may fit?

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WTF wrote:
Yikes

Yikes?

The only known issue is a really minor thing which went unnoticed for months because it’s so small.

WTF wrote:
Are there pictures of the driver available for those of us that have some mods in mind?

Does it use the same schematic as the TA drivers?

I think I recall some renders of the PCB in the main FW3A thread. … Yeah, here it is:

fritz15 wrote:
Another small update, the driver is basically done Smile Here are the pictures from oshpark.

Board Top

Board Bottom

Top Layer

Bottom Layer

At this point I’d like to thank DEL who patiently answered all my stupid questions and consistently gave advice on the schematic as well as the layout of the board Smile

WTF
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Glad to hear it’s only a minor issue, hopefully it doesn’t get blown out of proportion. When’s the last time that happened?

Thanks for digging up the driver, my searches turned up nothing and its a long thread.

Apparently Fritz didn’t share the Oshpark project, but seeing the traces and vias helps a lot. Mod plan A is dead, long live plan B.

Good to see Del oversaw the driver, its going to be rock solid like everything else he did.

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It honestly doesn’t even sound like a minor issue, it sounds like a virtual non-issue. Still, sadly, it could have been easily fixed had it been reported, with better communication.

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strange the bottom AMCs are not optimized for cooling effctiveness

and MCU pin 7 going over a resistor and cap to LED-?

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cabfrank wrote:
It honestly doesn’t even sound like a minor issue, it sounds like a virtual non-issue. Still, sadly, it could have been easily fixed had it been reported, with better communication.

Maukka discovered it and told me about it. I had a fix tested and committed to the repository 20 minutes later. So it was fixed quickly and easily… but not until after the first drivers had been produced. It’s not a big deal though, just a minor inconvenience for one specific UI flow.

Lexel wrote:
strange the bottom AMCs are not optimized for cooling effctiveness

It can’t connect the 7135’s big thermal pin directly to the outer ground ring like usual because it has a switch contact ring in the way. Driver layout was a little weird with the switch ring there.

Lexel wrote:
and MCU pin 7 going over a resistor and cap to LED-?

As it says in the layout file, that’s the optic nerve. It can see. I did a video about it two years ago, around the time the FW3A project was starting, and it ended up being included in this driver design. But after looking into it more, it turns out to not be very practical so I didn’t make use of it in the FW3A firmware. It’s still there for anyone who wants to try it though. I’d still like to do more development with it sometime, but it hasn’t been a priority.

Paradise
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I completely missed this programming interface, even though it is rudimentary or not enable right now. This is some next-level gadgetry you guys built!

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Paradise wrote:
I completely missed this … This is some next-level gadgetry you guys built!

Yeah, sorry. I forgot to have Neal list that on the product page, but there’s a hidden feature: It watches you while you sleep! Silly

Paradise
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Watching me while I sleep? So this light can replace my girlfriend? Awesome Big Smile

j/K

this reminds me of the Lux-RC setup http://lux-rc.com/content/NXS/NXS_R1_setup

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hope it stays quite here Wink

 

already member of M4DM4X.com ?

the best deals are waiting for YOU!

 

before you buy elsewhere mail me: MARTIN@M4DM4X.COM - i will try to save you money!

Paradise
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Is it too early to ask for a FW3A v2 thread?
FW3A v2 could include charger and optical programming interface. More tints and also more LED choices.

(I will run and hide somewhere so I won’t get stoned)

Shocked

I think the dev process was rock-solid on this one and the thread will remain largely empty. IMO, nothing went wrong at all.

zak.wilson
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Don’t worry, Astrolux will make a crappy knockoff with integrated charging in a year like they did with the D4.

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Lexel wrote:
Maybe a little late but an Aux board may fit?

If there was a single LED optic that would fit, and allow more Aux LED’S that would be perfect for this light, IMO. I’d really love to see a focus on adding more Aux LED’s and different channels for different colors. Then we’d be able to have all kinds of funky modes that my daughter and I could have fun with.
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Eraursls1984 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
Maybe a little late but an Aux board may fit?
If there was a single LED optic that would fit, and allow more Aux LED’S that would be perfect for this light, IMO. I’d really love to see a focus on adding more Aux LED’s and different channels for different colors. Then we’d be able to have all kinds of funky modes that my daughter and I could have fun with.

different channels still suffers on the 8 leg MCUs BLF firmwares using and firmware code not support such fancy things

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zak.wilson wrote:
Don’t worry, Astrolux will make a crappy knockoff with integrated charging in a year like they did with the D4.

Please explain.
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JasonWW wrote:
zak.wilson wrote:
Don’t worry, Astrolux will make a crappy knockoff with integrated charging in a year like they did with the D4.
Please explain.

D4 —> S42

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Lexel wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
zak.wilson wrote:
Don’t worry, Astrolux will make a crappy knockoff with integrated charging in a year like they did with the D4.
Please explain.

D4 —> S42


Those lights came out at the same time, not a year apart. This means they are unrelated. No one copied anything. It’s just two somewhat similar lights coming out at about the same time.
Eraursls1984
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Lexel wrote:
Eraursls1984 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
Maybe a little late but an Aux board may fit?
If there was a single LED optic that would fit, and allow more Aux LED’S that would be perfect for this light, IMO. I’d really love to see a focus on adding more Aux LED’s and different channels for different colors. Then we’d be able to have all kinds of funky modes that my daughter and I could have fun with.

different channels still suffers on the 8 leg MCUs BLF firmwares using and firmware code not support such fancy things


I know this has been covered, so if you have any threads that you could suggest, that would be appreciated. Two legs are for power, and the 6 free legs are used for? Is the biggest hurdle in using some of the newer MCU’s just designing and building drivers? I understand that we don’t have firmware for them, but from what I gather it’s fairly easy to port the Attiny85 firmware.
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Eraursls1984 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
Eraursls1984 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
Maybe a little late but an Aux board may fit?
If there was a single LED optic that would fit, and allow more Aux LED’S that would be perfect for this light, IMO. I’d really love to see a focus on adding more Aux LED’s and different channels for different colors. Then we’d be able to have all kinds of funky modes that my daughter and I could have fun with.

different channels still suffers on the 8 leg MCUs BLF firmwares using and firmware code not support such fancy things


I know this has been covered, so if you have any threads that you could suggest, that would be appreciated. Two legs are for power, and the 6 free legs are used for? Is the biggest hurdle in using some of the newer MCU’s just designing and building drivers? I understand that we don’t have firmware for them, but from what I gather it’s fairly easy to port the Attiny85 firmware.

2 legs power
1 leg unuseable reset pin
1 pin voltage divider
1 pin switch
1 pin switch LED
2 pins for FET+AMC
usually

new MCUs like the 1634 got like a dozen pins that can be used when you already have power and reset connected
just so far no BLF firmware runs on them so you can add fancy stuff like color fading aux board or stuff

Eraursls1984
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Lexel wrote:

2 legs power
1 leg unuseable reset pin
1 pin voltage divider
1 pin switch
1 pin switch LED
2 pins for FET+AMC
usually

Thank you Lexel, so if we gave up the ability to reflash (easily) we could gain another pin to use by getting rid of the reset fuse. But, not practical for mass production, and not much memory left on the Attiny85 with Anduril to utilize said pin.
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I worked in a remote bush camp many years ago where the rule was, anyone who complained about the food immediately became the cook.

In my opinion, this flashlight is flawless! Big Smile

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Quote:
aux LED board for FW3A

There isn’t currently anywhere to attach an aux LED board in the FW3A, unless it was on all the time with no ability for the user to control the aux LEDs. Here’s the MCU pin layout:

/* BLF/TLF FW3A driver layout
 *           ----
 *   Reset -|1  8|- VCC
 * eswitch -|2  7|- optic nerve
 *     FET -|3  6|- 7x7135
 *     GND -|4  5|- 1x7135
 *           ----
 */

However, if you cut pin 7, it could be used for this purpose. Basically remove the capacitor and resistor it’s attached to, put on a different resistor (optional), and attach it to an aux LED board instead. Flash new firmware with support for aux LEDs, and it should work.

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Discovered an issue today:

Several times now after inserting the battery at the head and then screwing closed the light I’ve noted that the head sometimes stops screwing down a couple mm before it should. This appears to be caused by the inner switch contact tube being slightly off-center and hitting the edges of the narrow driver retaining ring. When this happens the inner tube does not make contact with the driver and the light does not work.

If this occurs, the light can still be screwed down by unscrewing and then rescrewing the head in several times until things line up right. But that doesn’t solve the problem and is frustrating to do. This issue occurred with both my FW3As.

Analysis and Solution:

The problem appears to be caused by the driver retaining ring not being screwed tight to the driver at the factory. If you encounter this issue, use tweezers to turn the driver retaining ring so that it is flush against the driver. Once the retaining ring is snug, this problem goes away completely.

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Whew, that’s a relief. I think even my feeble modding skills can handle that.

Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes along the skyline.
Del Gue

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