The FW3A a TLF BLF special elegant triple powerful flashlight

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RobertB
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X3 wrote:
Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is annoyed by all this waiting time… I might end NOT buying it because the novelty has faded…

Yeah, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge in the last year and 4 months since this project started

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A single emitter for the next version would be great. I’d still prefer 18650 though. Nonetheless, it’s very premature. I’m still looking forward to this one. I think it will be worth the wait.

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Big Smile

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idleprocess wrote:

I don’t know what Lumintop’s production volumes are like, but I suspect that a run of ~2000 is on the low end for a custom design with so many unknowns relative to their own doubtlessly higher-volume products.

But the 2000 is not your typical production run of a new product, which would normally be speculative and require marketing effort.

In this case the 2000 is guaranteed sales, the product is already known to a large audience, and there is guaranteed ongoing discussion of the product to a wide audience independant of marketing efforts. Sounds to me like these factors make this one of the least risky ways to take a stab at a new product. Unless it has major flaws which are not solved soon after launch it is practically certain it will be a success and sales will continue well beyond the 2000.

Beam me up!

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Zulumoose wrote:
idleprocess wrote:

I don’t know what Lumintop’s production volumes are like, but I suspect that a run of ~2000 is on the low end for a custom design with so many unknowns relative to their own doubtlessly higher-volume products.

But the 2000 is not your typical production run of a new product, which would normally be speculative and require marketing effort.

In this case the 2000 is guaranteed sales, the product is already known to a large audience, and there is guaranteed ongoing discussion of the product to a wide audience independant of marketing efforts. Sounds to me like these factors make this one of the least risky ways to take a stab at a new product. Unless it has major flaws which are not solved soon after launch it is practically certain it will be a success and sales will continue well beyond the 2000.


I don’t know what the ultimate over/under is on BLF special editions, but there’s typically some falloff between initial hands raised and committed purchases in these sorts of ventures. I imagine that they’ll all eventually sell even if some of the original pledges walk away, but I Wouldn’t take that 2000 figure as guaranteed sales.

I’ll agree that a project like this is probably free market research for any manufacturer that takes on the project and indicative demand outside of the BLF market.

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It’s futile trying to figure out the motivations of the Chinese flashlight companies. I don’t even try. It’s less stressful that way. Big Smile

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idleprocess wrote:
I don’t know what the ultimate over/under is on BLF special editions, but there’s typically some falloff between initial hands raised and committed purchases

If I recall correctly, people were keeping track of follow-through rate on the Q8 project. The main issue was that the manufacturer couldn’t keep up with demand, not that people didn’t buy what they pledged for. I think the follow-through rate was something like 95% before the purchases opened up for general audiences, and then it has continued going up since then.

Other projects have mostly gone that way too. So it’s probably pretty safe for Lumintop to make 2000 units, especially if they do 1000 each of two flavors.

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The BLF A6 though. Such a turkey, whatever happened to that one? Silly

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I would love to see a 21700 version too. At that diameter, might as well go with a quad like the D4 and call it FW4A.

anycolourfloyd wrote:
Ocelot wrote:

…..and another idea….. following the same “upgrade path” ideas from the Emisar D4 (18650) to the upcoming D4S (26650 cell)


 


a slightly larger version that optimally fits the excellent Samsung 48G 4,800 mAh 21700 cell for at least a 50% runtime increase over 18650s , while minimizing/avoiding a size/weight penalty of a much larger 26650 cell…


 


im a monster runtime fanatic and this would put a permagrin on my face…


 


 

O

I for one would settle for the basic version coming out first Smile

I don’t think a 21700 version is realistic without a significant redesign

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Ocelot wrote:
… would it be feasible to copycat/incorporate the blue marker design inside the head of the FW3A?

Nope.

The D4S has three power channels:

  • 3×7135 (0 to ~400 lm, regulated)
  • FET (~400 to ~6000 lm)
  • aux LEDs

The FW3A also has three power channels:

  • 1×7135 (0 to ~160 lm, regulated)
  • 7×7135 (~160 to ~1100 lm, regulated)
  • FET (~1100 to ~3000 lm)

Adding aux LEDs would mean redesigning the driver, but we don’t have someone to do that any more. And redesigning the MCPCB. And it would mean sacrificing some other feature to free up a pin… or switching to a bigger MCU. These things aren’t going to happen before release.

Perhaps it is possible to make such leds without MCU. I think it could be done similar to the illuminated tail-switch on the BLF X6 e.g.
That means hard connected to the battery.

Is this worth thinking about?

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Wieselflinkpro wrote:

Perhaps it is possible to make such leds without MCU. I think it could be done similar to the illuminated tail-switch on the BLF X6 e.g.
That means hard connected to the battery.

Is this worth thinking about?


Sure, it’s no different that hard wiring leds into a side switch. The problem with doing it on the FW3A is the much smaller mcpcb. You’ve got the same four emitters, but a much smaller board to put them on and you still need room for the optics to fit over the top, so space will be tight.

My Convoy L6 thread with XHP70.2, Texas Avenger FET driver, Narsil v1.2 ramping firmware (old), lighted side switch and cut down SMO reflector. Lots of amp draws on stock driver as well. 

My Supfire L5-S thread with XHP70.2, 26350 cells (4,100 lumen!), Texas Avenger FET driver, NarsilM v1.0 ramping firmware and lighted side switch. My mini L6! 

9 NarsilM user videos for BLF Q8, GT, GT Mini and ROT66

Texas_Ace BLF Calibrated Lumen tube

Maukka Calibration Lights for DIY Lumen Measuring Devices

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ToyKeeper wrote:
idleprocess wrote:
I don’t know what the ultimate over/under is on BLF special editions, but there’s typically some falloff between initial hands raised and committed purchases

If I recall correctly, people were keeping track of follow-through rate on the Q8 project. The main issue was that the manufacturer couldn’t keep up with demand, not that people didn’t buy what they pledged for. I think the follow-through rate was something like 95% before the purchases opened up for general audiences, and then it has continued going up since then.

Other projects have mostly gone that way too. So it’s probably pretty safe for Lumintop to make 2000 units, especially if they do 1000 each of two flavors.

If Lumintop want sales they should choose two LEDs. In that case I must up my number like many others.

Banggood has 330 reviews for the Q8 and only one is 4 stars. There is little to complain about it. Over 3900 sold in less than a year.

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JasonWW wrote:
Wieselflinkpro wrote:

Perhaps it is possible to make such leds without MCU. I think it could be done similar to the illuminated tail-switch on the BLF X6 e.g.
That means hard connected to the battery.

Is this worth thinking about?


Sure, it’s no different that hard wiring leds into a side switch. The problem with doing it on the FW3A is the much smaller mcpcb. You’ve got the same four emitters, but a much smaller board to put them on and you still need room for the optics to fit over the top, so space will be tight.

I could be wrong, but I think I rember:
Lexcel did design an aux LED-board for the normal D4 but could also be the D4S. I think the D4 quad has the same diameter of the optik than the triple FW3A.
Based on a lighten tail switch.
Please search for it

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Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

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huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

That would be like going to Mercedes and asking: Look we have here this nice two prototypes from BMW. Can you produce it too?

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joechina wrote:
huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

That would be like going to Mercedes and asking: Look we have here this nice two prototypes from BMW. Can you produce it too?

Bad analogy.

Was there a signed contract? Are all BLF designed products made exclusively by Lumintop? Look at the BLF Edition Master List

It is more like lotus or mclaren sourcing different engines for different needs.

Admittedly I have no idea what agreement was made behind the scene. If Lumintop already started manufacturing or buying parts for the flashlight then there is no need to consider switching. I don’t know if the second prototype was made by lumintop or by Fritz15.

If Lumintop hasn’t started the process then I don’t see anything wrong with switching companies. Who knows, most likely they are out sourcing it to other small companies. I don’t know how much manufacturing Lumintop does in house.

edit: First prototype was made on a lathe by Fritz15. Okay, second prototype was made by Lumintop.

The host was still designed by Fritz15, Toykeeper handled the firmware, and Tom E did the driver. Lumintop did not design the flashlight.

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joechina wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
Wieselflinkpro wrote:

Perhaps it is possible to make such leds without MCU. I think it could be done similar to the illuminated tail-switch on the BLF X6 e.g.
That means hard connected to the battery.

Is this worth thinking about?


Sure, it’s no different that hard wiring leds into a side switch. The problem with doing it on the FW3A is the much smaller mcpcb. You’ve got the same four emitters, but a much smaller board to put them on and you still need room for the optics to fit over the top, so space will be tight.

I could be wrong, but I think I rember:
Lexcel did design an aux LED-board for the normal D4 but could also be the D4S. I think the D4 quad has the same diameter of the optik than the triple FW3A.
Based on a lighten tail switch.
Please search for it

Hum, am I wrong to say that the diameter or the boards and optics will be quite different because the D4 and D4S are quadruples and the FW3A will be a triple?

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huey18 wrote:
joechina wrote:
huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

That would be like going to Mercedes and asking: Look we have here this nice two prototypes from BMW. Can you produce it too?

Bad analogy.

Was there a signed contract? Are all BLF designed products made exclusively by Lumintop? Look at the BLF Edition Master List

It is more like lotus or mclaren sourcing different engines for different needs.

Admittedly I have no idea what agreement was made behind the scene. If Lumintop already started manufacturing or buying parts for the flashlight then there is no need to consider switching. I don’t know if the second prototype was made by lumintop or by Fritz15.

If Lumintop hasn’t started the process then I don’t see anything wrong with switching companies. Who knows, most likely they are out sourcing it to other small companies. I don’t know how much manufacturing Lumintop does in house.

edit: First prototype was made on a lathe by Fritz15. Okay, second prototype was made by Lumintop.

The host was still designed by Fritz15, Toykeeper handled the firmware, and Tom E did the driver. Lumintop did not design the flashlight.

That would most likely delay this even further I’d imagine. And possibly burn down some bridges.

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huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

If BLF wants companies to cooperate on any future projects, or if BLF wants this project to ever be produced, it would be a bad idea to jump ship halfway through manufacturing of the final samples.

Normally for projects like this, we’d have to get investors or kickstarter backers or something, collecting money up front to fund development and production. BLF projects work differently though, depending on the manufacturer to incur all the up-front costs and all the risk, based on trust that they’ll make it all back and then some, when the product goes up for sale.

Aborting or switching companies last-minute breaks that trust, leaving Lumintop to eat the costs incurred so far, and signals to other companies that the risk is not worthwhile.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

If BLF wants companies to cooperate on any future projects, or if BLF wants this project to ever be produced, it would be a bad idea to jump ship halfway through manufacturing of the final samples.

Normally for projects like this, we’d have to get investors or kickstarter backers or something, collecting money up front to fund development and production. BLF projects work differently though, depending on the manufacturer to incur all the up-front costs and all the risk, based on trust that they’ll make it all back and then some, when the product goes up for sale.

Aborting or switching companies last-minute breaks that trust, leaving Lumintop to eat the costs incurred so far, and signals to other companies that the risk is not worthwhile.

Thanks for explaining the back end side of things. I guess Lumintop was already heavily invested in the project.

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huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?

Maybe I’m really slow but…….why would we deem this to be necessary?

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huey18
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bushmaster wrote:
huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?
Maybe I’m really slow but…….why would we deem this to be necessary?

It is not. Other users expressed their dissatisfaction with the turn around time and are losing interest.

Personally, I don’t care if it took another year. I will just buy it when it is available. I was just wondering if the option was feasible.

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joechina wrote:
I think the D4 quad has the same diameter of the optik than the triple FW3A.

No, the D4 optic and FW3A optic are not the same size. D4 is bigger.

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I seem to have been spoiled by the gang at Emisar, who seem to knock a home run every few months with a ground-breaking new light.

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spinynorman wrote:
I seem to have been spoiled by the gang at Emisar, who seem to knock a home run every few months with a ground-breaking new light.

I really doubt the work on the Emisar lights took much less time… you just didn’t see it.

I’d also argue that nothing since the D4 has really been “ground breaking”, and even its wasn’t as crazy as some make it out to be. It more that the combination of features has been impressive… at that price point. That’s much less because they solved some engineering problem than it was smart business sense and a TON of interest prior to release.

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spinynorman wrote:
I seem to have been spoiled by the gang at Emisar, who seem to knock a home run every few months with a ground-breaking new light.

Every few months?

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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
spinynorman wrote:
I seem to have been spoiled by the gang at Emisar, who seem to knock a home run every few months with a ground-breaking new light.

I really doubt the work on the Emisar lights took much less time… you just didn’t see it.

I’d also argue that nothing since the D4 has really been “ground breaking”, and even its wasn’t as crazy as some make it out to be. It more that the combination of features has been impressive… at that price point. That’s much less because they solved some engineering problem than it was smart business sense and a TON of interest prior to release.


Technically the D4 was not groundbreaking, everything about it was already thought out and tested on BLF, the groundbreaking part is that a chinese company (Hank) watched and understood what happened on BLF and trusted that enough to develope a flashlight that combined everything and make it available for a budget price.
That is very far from the usual practice of chinese budget flashlight companies, who are very conservative in their designs and are in the habit of copying what has been shown to sell before more than anything else.

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To underline how special it is for a chinese (or any) company to spontaniously make lights the BLF-way:

in 2013 here on BLF we started to use the brand new first DTP-boards (Sinkpads), and found out that on these you can overdrive leds way beyond factory specs and get unprecedented performance, and that they easily survive direct drive on a 18650 li-ion, and it was combined with dedoming leds that was already earlier found on CPF (with the game-changing Cree XR-E) to increase throw immensely.
At the time the stock Jacob A60 budget light was the king of throw, at 55kcd with a XR-E in a 50mm reflector (more expensive manufacturers were not chasing records at all by my knowing, the focus was on reliability). But on BLF, pocket size Ultrafire C8’s were rebuild with dedomed XP-G2’s on Sinkpads, springs bypassed, doing 120kcd and more, with 3 times the output of the A60. And the leds did not fry over time, my oldest dedomed XP-G2 builds from 2013 still produce the same throw numbers.

It took almost another 4 years!! of building proud BLF hotrods that gave stock lights a run for their performance before mainstream manufacturers began first even use DTP boards, let go driving leds beyond factory specs and use direct drivers. And only recently the modders are loosing the output and throw race from the flashlight manufacturers (some very unique mods excepted), but not the budget race yet, throw and output per dollar is still won.

There is a huge market for conservative low output reliable performers, for good reason, but the pure performance segment has taken years to be picked up by manufacturers, and still few companies are operating in it.

We are still best in colour rendering, which will become increasingly important, I think even in flashlights Smile

link to djozz tests 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”   (Gus Speth)

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djozz wrote:
To underline how special it is for a chinese (or any) company to spontaniously make lights the BLF-way… the groundbreaking part is that a chinese company (Hank) watched and understood what happened on BLF and trusted that enough to develop a flashlight that combined everything and make it available for a budget price.

That’s exactly why I put so much time into the D4. It was clear that something new and special was happening, and I wanted to make sure Emisar got rewarded for that. It was a way of saying thanks — for listening and for taking a risk to do what people want.

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bushmaster wrote:
huey18 wrote:
Is it too late to ask another company to make it?
Maybe I’m really slow but…….why would we deem this to be necessary?

It’s not necessary, but the design of this light checks a lot of boxes for a lot of people, so the question presumably arises simply from eagerness to see it completed.

I’m not going to worry it. I would definitely love to have this light in my pocket as soon as possible, but my investment in it so far is a few posts on this thread, which didn’t cost me very much.

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