BLF A6 FET+7135 Light Troubleshooting and Mod thread

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dudunphy
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chenko wrote:
Hi! My 3D A6 came in some days ago, I already wrote it is not working correctly, maybe it is due to a short tube? It is 2.333' Tightening it with Greyskull Power, I could have it light up and behave badly but consistently: it will not turn on on first click, but on third or so, and then it can cycle modes, but again it is weird: it has no moonlight, first two modes are identical, then a sort of medium, then last two higher modes are identical too. So, what is going on? Shall I ask for replacement or just a longer tube?

 

I would check the retaining rings for looseness (won't help if threads are not long enough) but if you're cranking it so hard that you force a ring to make contact that may be the issue. Wiggle the springs and see what happens they should be tight. +1 contact Neal for new head if you can't solder. 

Dustin

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djozz wrote:

Just keep it in all in the OP, I'd say. (not sure if names should be in the title).

And perhaps, if you mention the output numbers with the springmod instruction (the soldering quality is not that pro btw Wink), you should add that these numbers come from lights with 5A leds (1A and 3C would have higher numbers)  


Done and done. Wink


I really don't want to steal too many things without giving credit. You guys please, please, please let me know if I step on any toes!!!

Dustin

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One of my samples has no turbo stepdown and also, the head does not get hot at all but the mcpcb looks to have been forced in and bent up the edges of the mcpcb so its obviously not touching the shelf. Will require mods but no turbo stepdown is fine by me Wink

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ToyKeeper wrote:

You know you don’t have to actually click the button to change modes, right? All it needs is a gentle half-press like what one might use to get a camera to focus without taking a picture. A full click is only needed to turn it on or off.

In any case, I have no idea why it would behave that way. The code doesn’t have anything even similar to ramping built in. It’s like it’s running totally different code.

I know… Just did It that for the video so you could hear when changing modes, because in mode1 & 2 sometimes it flickers when ramping is finished, didn’t want it to look like a mode change.

Already contacted BG, do you know if they can send out spare drivers?

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itsonlyme wrote:
One of my samples has no turbo stepdown and also, the head does not get hot at all but the mcpcb looks to have been forced in and bent up the edges of the mcpcb so its obviously not touching the shelf. Will require mods but no turbo stepdown is fine by me Wink

It might also be that the step-down isn’t noticeable, especially if it’s not shedding heat the way it’s supposed to, or if it’s using a low-amp cell. Either one could cause the top two modes to look pretty much the same.

The lumen output curve for LEDs tends to rise, peak, then actually go back down as current and heat increase. If it can’t shed heat it could be past the peak, and a power step-down could then move it from the right side of the peak to the left side at roughly the same lumen level.

Or it could be something else entirely.

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You are correct Tk, I just ran both side by side, the “problem” one has a barely perceptible step down. Thank you.

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OK, I got three, 2 neutral, one warm.
Just ran one of the neutrals for several minutes at highest brightness — not uncomfortably hot in the hand but definitely getting past warm to hot.

At this point I couldn’t control the UI consistently, because I couldn’t make a short enough pulse consistently.
Several times trying for short pulses I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 — guessing it was at a temperature almost confused, and by the time I got it up to brightest, it no longer would recognize a short pulse as a short, but read it as a medium.

Would someone — TK? — be able by now to set out a test procedure to follow — like letting it heat up for X minutes at turbo then doing steps — that would show problems if they’re going to happen?

Or is it time I opened it — well, them — up and looked at the solder?

——
And if I try to fix solder problems — is there a small solder sucker available anywhere?
And with a temperature-controlled (Hakko) iron, what temp. should I set to be poking at this stuff?

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The temperature sensitivity bothers me, too. I think using an X7R capacitor should help, as well as looking for better specs on the resistors. Hardware isn’t something I’m good at though, so input from others would be very helpful. Smile

If I understand correctly, it should be possible to get the performance to about 85% (maybe 90%?) with good hardware, instead of the 50% it’s getting now. But at least it’s better than the 10% it had initially. (or, measuring the other direction, timing adjusted by 1.15X when frozen, instead of the 2X it gets now, or the 10X it got before)

Unfortunately, wight left before the temperature issues were discovered, so there hasn’t been an electrical engineer involved to help fix it.

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hank wrote:
OK, I got three, 2 neutral, one warm. Just ran one of the neutrals for several minutes at highest brightness -- not uncomfortably hot in the hand but definitely getting past warm to hot. At this point I couldn't control the UI consistently, because I couldn't make a short enough pulse consistently. Several times trying for short pulses I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 -- guessing it was at a temperature almost confused, and by the time I got it up to brightest, it no longer would recognize a short pulse as a short, but read it as a medium. Would someone -- TK? -- be able by now to set out a test procedure to follow -- like letting it heat up for X minutes at turbo then doing steps -- that would show problems if they're going to happen? Or is it time I opened it -- well, them -- up and looked at the solder? ---- And if I try to fix solder problems -- is there a small solder sucker available anywhere? And with a temperature-controlled (Hakko) iron, what temp. should I set to be poking at this stuff?

I've heard people have been using that small braided copper. Solder will follow heat. The copper has other helpful uses as well.

http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=25&pr...

Dustin

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Hi, about the high-pitched whine some people reported… I found a really easy way to measure it today.

The method is simple: connect an LED to a DMM, put the DMM in frequency mode, and shine a light at the LED. It works in reverse, converting photons into current.

I measured PWM speed on two production BLF-A6 units, and got the following: 15.49 kHz, 13.35 kHz (nominally 18.75 kHz)

So, there is a lot of variation and some of it is easily within the audible range.

Also, I measured my new attiny25 test driver running the blf-a6 code: 31.74 kHz (nominally 31.25 kHz). That’s plenty fast, and I might step it down to a slower clock speed to get it to 25 kHz.

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Question about contacting the “Professional Guy” —- will they listen to me if I’ve opened up the driver to look at the solder?
Or should I contact them first about the temperature sensitivity — or is that just one of those things for us in the first round to get used to living with?

If it’s the parts used, I guess I’d expect to get used to it.
If it’s bad soldering, I’d rather know that — and be able to ask them to replace it, or try to fix it and then ask them to replace it …. or, heck. it gets really confused at this point about this issue.

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Banggood can’t fix the temperature sensitivity. That’s more of a medium-term project, with research and testing and samples, and eventually new drivers.

The temperature thing was 80% solved before production, but the remaining 20% is quite a bit more difficult. (initially, when frozen, the medium-press time was 10x as long as normal, but on the production units it’s about 2x instead… and the best we can hope for is about 1.15x)

I don’t know much about circuit design or hardware in general, but DEL has been very helpful so far. Smile

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Hi, about the high-pitched whine some people reported… I found a really easy way to measure it today.

The method is simple: connect an LED to a DMM, put the DMM in frequency mode, and shine a light at the LED. It works in reverse, converting photons into current.

I measured PWM speed on two production BLF-A6 units, and got the following: 15.49 kHz, 13.35 kHz (nominally 18.75 kHz)

So, there is a lot of variation and some of it is easily within the audible range.

Also, I measured my new attiny25 test driver running the blf-a6 code: 31.74 kHz (nominally 31.25 kHz). That’s plenty fast, and I might step it down to a slower clock speed to get it to 25 kHz.

Now that is a creative solution, I had remembered that the LED will create current, but did not think to use it as a sensor… Genius…

The light you shine is the one you are testing… so this can tell for other lights as well. What brand of multimeter are you using?

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ReManG wrote:
The light you shine is the one you are testing… so this can tell for other lights as well. What brand of multimeter are you using?

Yes, as soon as I confirmed it worked I measured a bunch of lights. Smile

I’m using a Fluke 8846A. It’s mostly doing automated tests for work, but I can use it for other things between tests.

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Just to let you know about customer service responsiveness, I wrote three days ago an email to the address I had of Neal, which is zhanghuaihong [at] banggood [dot] com and no answer so far.

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For those who are having the "7135 problem" & have a soldering iron;

Try touching the hot iron with a small amount of solder on it to the ground tab of the 7135 for a second or two. You should see the flux on the board around the 7135 bubble a little.

Just doing this was enough to reflow the 7135, & fixed my driver issue.

 

.....Of course, I took the opportunity to add thicker wire & spring bypass while I was at it Smile

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Some people have talked about getting a different clip and some have asked about Olight clips specifically. I checked my Olight S20-L2 clip last night and it does definitely fit the A6 host. However, there is a problem with the Olight clip. It doesn’t hold on very well. I had always wondered why if I bumped into anything, there was always a good chance the light would drop. Now, I think I understand. Comparing the Olight clip with the A6-SE clip, the Olight clip doesn’t wrap as far around the circumference. So, a bump can cause the clip to let go of the light. I’d forgotten about that until I bumped the door of my car getting in last night, and the A6-SE fell to the ground! Shocked

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chenko
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aL1 wrote:

chenko wrote:
Just to let you know about customer service responsiveness, I wrote three days ago an email to the address I had of Neal, which is zhanghuaihong [at] banggood [dot] com and no answer so far.

I PM’d Neal at BLF last week and got a reply within 48 hours-

What’s his username? “Banggood”?

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chenko wrote:
aL1 wrote:

chenko wrote:
Just to let you know about customer service responsiveness, I wrote three days ago an email to the address I had of Neal, which is _zhanghuaihong [at] banggood [dot] com_ and no answer so far.

I PM'd Neal at BLF last week and got a reply within 48 hours-

What's his username? "Banggood"?

Yes, Neal's user name/handle is Banggood.  Smile

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By the way… I’ll be putting out my review hopefully in under a week. I’ll include video runtime tests for modes 4-7 (which I finished yesterday). Everything looks nice and stable. Again, great light to all involved.

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Does anyone have a link to butterfly centering rings that fit this light, so there is less chance to dedomed it.

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Found this: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/38688

Also RMM has some for xp-g xm-l you could hit him up on his page or pm him to see what might cross over to xp-l.
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=25_82

Dustin

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I just saw mention of “adhesive butterfly centering” in the other thread

Quote:
you might ask for the adhesive butterfly centering rings so it can’t hapen again.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/36667?page=17#comment-818923
timestamp Thu, 09/17/2015 – 18:32 (clicking the link works if you’re set to see 300 items per page, otherwise it just goes to the top of the thread I think)

I’ve never come across an adhesive version. Sounds like a good idea.

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For anyone interested, the Zebra Light pocket clip fits the A6 very well.

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As we know, the A6-SE clip was custom made by/for Manker for this light. Lots of people have reported the clip breaking easily. Other than where cracking is already visible around or near the bends, could the clips be tempered to make them less brittle? Has anyone tried it? I don’t know anything about metalworking, but I’m looking for a solution that doesn’t involve buying another clip. I’ve already tried the Olight clip. It does fit, but it doesn’t stay on when bumped, so it’s not a solution for me. I looked up tempering metal and found an instructables.com article about making a knife that includes these simple instructions for tempering:

casvandegoor (instructables.com) wrote:
Tempering

The color of the steel gives an indication of the temperature to which the steel was heated.
Remove the scale on the bevel, spine and tang with sandpaper so that the color of the steel will be visible when tempering.

Heat the blade to 175-350°C for about 1,5 hour in a kitchen oven.
A higher tempering temperature yields a slightly softer material with a higher toughness, while a lower temperature yields a harder and slightly more brittle material.
I would recommend tempering in two or more cycles of 1,5 hour, because of the inaccuracy of a kitchen oven.

For example, if you want to temper your blade at 250°C (brown-red):
First temper the blade at 175°C.
If the steel didn’t reach a brown-red, temper again at a higher temperature.


Would something like this work for our clips?

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Awesome writeup!

I do a bit harder spring bypass but soldering the wire inside the spring, but for beginners of soldering the outside the spring would be much easier…

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WarHawk-AVG wrote:
Awesome writeup! I do a bit harder spring bypass but soldering the wire inside the spring, but for beginners of soldering the outside the spring would be much easier...

I have done many spring bypasses inside the spring but whenever there's room outside I do that because it is easier and there's less bending stress on the silicon wire.

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Would someone who has a brittle clip be willing to try re-tempering to see if it helps? If you have broken your clip in half, it’s obvious that you have a brittle clip. But, in that case, you may not want to waste your time and electricity baking an already useless clip. However, if you have “snapped” the tabs off the clips, as some have said that they did, you also have a brittle clip! Would you please be willing to try baking it to fix the temper? I put mine in the oven like the quote I posted above, and it is still baking right now. But, I just realized that I didn’t verify that mine was brittle to begin with, so I can’t tell whether baking it will help or not. Someone?

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Mine seems brittle but we won’t really know unless we break one right? I did bend the little ramp down on one of mine very gently without snapping it. But how would you go about checking it David?

Dustin

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If you are just looking for a budget clip that rides LOW in the pocket, buy one of THESE clips, find an O-Ring or two that fit your light in the clip groove and put them together….

It has worked for me for several months now with no real major issues, the M1 is a bit long for anything other than cargo pockets. My stock Eagle Eye A6 had no clip, just a lanyard, so this is what I came up with, works on a variety of lights. Almost total concealment of the light if that is what you want…

We are all hoping that Manker makes Clip V2 a bit better. I have not had any brittle clips, and have adjusted all of mine with pliers with no breakage (albeit carefully).

If you want to re-temper your light, try your home oven on a high setting (400F +) for a couple of hours, worst it will do is make it softer….



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