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

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Tally-ho
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Stonewashed Ti looks cheap and ugly and ruins a damn fine material (except for heat transfer though).
Leave this bad idea to cheap knives manufacturers.

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StonewashedGate!

teacher
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Quote:
Stonewashed Ti looks cheap and ugly and ruins a damn fine material.
This is your personal preference/opinion, which is fine. But it does not necessarily reflect a general consensus. People like raw, polished, stonewashed, & bead/sand blasted Titanium.
Personally, I like stonewashed & bead/sand blasted. It beautifies it & adds character as far as I am concerned.

Quote:

Leave this bad idea to cheap knives manufacturers.
Big Smile … Many knife makers/manufacturers stonewash or bead/sand blast the Ti handles on their knives. CRK is a prime example, and his knives are not exactly cheap.

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

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Lund1660
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I just got my copper fw3c. Decided to change the 5a to sst-20. One of the legs of the new style optic is cut off shorter than the other The messed up thing is their is a small Phillip screw taking up the space for the missing portion of leg. Who’s the genius that came up with this idea?

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Lund1660 wrote:
I just got my copper fw3c. Decided to change the 5a to sst-20. One of the legs of the new style optic is cut off shorter than the other The messed up thing is their is a small Phillip screw taking up the space for the missing portion of leg. Who’s the genius that came up with this idea?

That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Sounds like yours was installed wrong.

The Phillips screw is designed to sit in divot drilled partway through the underside of the star. It is NOT supposed to sit in one of the holes for the legs. All 3 legs on my copper FW3C are fully intact.

Lund1660
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What does pillip screw do? What’s it purpose?

teacher
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It is to eliminate the possibility of the MCPCB turning & severing the wires when the bezel is tightened.

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

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since there have been queations:

the polished titanium / copper will come soon

stonewashed only if demand is big enough 

 

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!

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timbo114 wrote:
Firelight2 wrote:
* Looks beautiful in polished bare copper. However, this IS bare copper. I expect it will look tarnished and used within a few days. I thought about sealing it with something, but I didn’t have any metal sealer on hand and would probably have had to do so before touching the light.

Wear gloves, wipe it down with pure lemon juice, rinse in hot water, wipe down with iso alcohol.
Wipe down with hard automotive paste wax, let dry for a few hours.
Wear gloves to remove wax and buff to a new sealed shine.


Think I’ll have to give this a try.

Turbo heat on the head won’t cause the wax to melt I hope?

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I think that heat would more probably fuse the wax deeper into the surface of the copper.

Collinite is what I’ve used for 30 years.

This is amazingly tough and long lasting wax.

It’s like Frank’s Red Hot … I put that shit on everything!

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M4D M4X wrote:

since there have been queations:


the polished titanium / copper will come soon


stonewashed only if demand is big enough 

This is great news. I will definitely be in for the polished titanium / copper version.

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I asked in the interest list but the discussion is probably better suited here. I personally like bead blasted titanium, what’s the difference between stonewashed and bead blasted finishes?

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the polished version looks simply amazing, I am most likely going to order one.

teacher
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hodor wrote:
I asked in the interest list but the discussion is probably better suited here. I personally like bead blasted titanium, what’s the difference between stonewashed and bead blasted finishes?
Stonewashed would be smoother while bead blasted would have a bit of texture.

For those complaining the FW3A was to slippery, the bead blasted Ti should be great. As far as “grip” goes anyway.

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

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KevinZA1988
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The Olight S1R Baton II Ti bead blasted version looks and feels amazing!

BLF Q8, BLF A6, BLF FW3A, BLF FW3C, Convoy L2, Convoy L6, Convoy C8+ , Convoy S3, Convoy M21A, Convoy S11, Emisar D4, Fireflies E07, Jaxman E2L, Olight S1R Baton II special edition series, S2R Baton II, Nitecore HC65, Olight H1R Nova.

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JaredM wrote:
wondering if LT is going to follow through (or Neal pick up their slack) on the deep clip/diffuser accessories that was talked about a while back.

I haven’t heard anything about either one recently. Neal at least looked through off-the-shelf diffusers to try to find a compatible one, but failed. I tried to tell him in advance that they don’t exist and would need to be manufactured, but maybe that’s enough of a hurdle to keep it from happening. Sad

cayman wrote:
Does anybody know how many were sold, in total? Would be cool to know what size of a dent in the universe BLF is causing Big Smile

I don’t have access to the numbers, but if it helps at all, I’ve heard the BLF-A6 has sold well into the five digit range… and I’m guessing the FW3A may end up being more popular than that in the long run.

Firelight2 wrote:
With these modifications, the SST-20 switch feels considerably better than stock, but still feels worse than the first-run FW3A’s switches.

Lumintop’s revised tailcap housing is definitely inferior to the original design. Hopefully, they will switch it back for the copper and Titanium run.

I don’t think I’ve tried a new one yet. I hope it’s not as bad as it sounds.

lumenzilla wrote:
I think I saw a thread made by TK about her initial impression of FW3Cu but I can’t find it again. Any good people here can give me the link?

It was an old prototype from 2018. It doesn’t really represent how the production version will be.

The differences I’m aware of are:

  • 2018 proto was bead-blasted, production is smooth polished.
  • 2018 proto parts didn’t fit together right, so it’s hard to get the thing to turn on at all, and the clip doesn’t fit.

Otherwise though, I guess it should be pretty similar. It’s just like the aluminum FW3A, except made from copper and polished to make it shine. And it’ll be heavier when empty than the aluminum version is with a cell installed.

I named my prototype Wilbert Stinkyhands, in case that helps with using the search function.

emarkd wrote:
Firelight2 wrote:
There aren’t any photos of an all titanium FW3A.

I’m not sure, anything is possible I suppose, but I was told this was solid ti?

Nope, that one was apparently solid copper and the photo was taken with a really misleading white balance.

Firelight2 wrote:
Normally, I prefer XPL HI over SST-20… But in the case of the FW3A, the SST20s it comes with are the best I’ve ever seen.

I hope my experience will be the same, if I ever get a SST-20 model. I think the purple one is supposed to use those, maybe.

Taschenrechner wrote:
Will the new SST-20 emitter version be delivered with the latest/fixed anduril? (to manually set the memorized level)?

If I understand correctly, the items currently shipping use the 05-22 firmware, which was one revision before manual memory was added. They made the drivers like half a week before the firmware got updated.

But it should be in the next batch of drivers, whenever that is. Maybe in another couple months?

DBSAR wrote:
HOLY CRAP.. this FW3A emitted burning smell and stopped working after just falling off a 20 inch high night table..

It looks like, for that to happen, there would need to be two shorts — one where the outer tube makes contact with the switch contact ring, and one where the spring scratches through the solder mask to contact the trace shown in your photo.

If both of those happened, it could bypass the usual BAT- path and send all that current through a single small trace instead, which could cause it to burn. But it’s pretty strange that the spring would make contact with the trace. It’s generally held up a bit by solder, and the trace is underneath an insulating mask. Basically, it sounds like very bad luck.

Making contact between the outer tube and the switch ring is much more common though. With the tailcap parts so loose, the PCB can get off-center and touch the wrong parts. But normally this only makes it think the button is being pressed. The bulk of the current still flows through the correct path in that case.

Quote:
bead blasted titanium

This material always seems divisive. On the one hand, it gives a soft velvety feel with slightly better grip than a smooth metal. On the other hand, it gets visible scratches (or “snail trails”) really easily so the surface doesn’t look new for very long.

I’m fairly happy with the bead-blasted copper prototype though, after forcing a patina and polishing it. Most of the blasted texture is gone now, so it mostly just feels like regular non-blasted copper.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
But it’s pretty strange that the spring would make contact with the trace. It’s generally held up a bit by solder, and the trace is underneath an insulating mask. Basically, it sounds like very bad luck.

It’s not back luck, it’s bad soldering that lumintop is doing. Mine had the pointy bit of the spring almost touching the trace. It was also an awful soldering job, with the spring way off center and only held on in one spot. I resoldered things to make it safer, after reading about the incident.

I suggest everybody check their spring soldering. Most are probably fine, but it’s random.

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teacher wrote:
This is your personal preference/opinion, _which is fine.

Indeed it is my opinion as I would not speak for other people I don’t know and would never pretend to tell them what to think about Ti stonewashed.

hodor wrote:
what’s the difference between stonewashed and bead blasted finishes?

Bead blasted has a mat finish and makes Ti looks a bit darker grey.
E.g. : the Haiku bead blasted looks really nice :
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
it sounds like very bad luck.

It’s not back luck, it’s bad soldering that lumintop is doing.[/quote]

I don’t mean bad luck in the sense of what happened when it fell. I mean bad luck in the sense of getting an item which was assembled badly — being the unlucky person who got a dud.

If this was happening frequently, that wouldn’t be luck… it’d be a broken manufacturing process. But there’s only one known case of this happening, and one (yours) which looks like it could have been a near miss. So unless more people run into the same issue, I’d consider it a “ask vendor to send new hardware” sort of issue instead of a “ask manufacturer to fix their process” sort of issue.

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Tally-ho wrote:
hodor wrote:
what’s the difference between stonewashed and bead blasted finishes?
Bead blasted has a mat finish and makes Ti looks a bit darker grey. E.g. : the Haiku bead blasted looks really nice : !https://i.imgur.com/z1Cpknzl.jpg!

I very much like that finish Thumbs Up

Who’s selling the FW3T? My google-foo appears to be failing me at 6pm…

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FW3C SST-20 has arrived in the UK!

Initial impressions:

  • It’s heavy.
  • It’s pretty.
  • The new button is so much nicer than the old one. Lighter to press but with a more positive click. Much quieter and has less wobble in the action too, like a proper E-switch should.
  • The SST-20 emitters are the best I’ve seen yet. They’re rosy on maximum output, but unfortunately seem to still be the tiniest bit green on lower levels. Still, they’re not bad at all and I’ll definitely be happy using these. A big upgrade over all previous SST-20s I have used.
  • The new optic is okay. I bought a clear Carclo and I’m going to swap it out for some extra throw though.
  • It appears to be running a new-ish version of Andúril. It has the fancy two stage lockout moonlight mode, however when not locked it still comes on in moonlight as soon as you hold down the button. Shame it’s not totally up to date, but it’s newer than the version on the first run of FW3As.
  • I sent an email and a message to Neal about my choices regarding the optic dilemma, but it seems that neither got read as I was sent the light with the plastic optic immediately anyway. No worries, I can swap a new optic in myself, but I feel bad for the guy if he has been that snowed under that he can’t manage to read a message even with several weeks to do so.

TL;DR It’s good!

Edit:
Okay, I can’t use the Carclo that was included with my order because Neal hasn’t included the glass lens he promised! Now what?

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Klayking wrote:

Edit:
Okay, I can’t use the Carclo that was included with my order because Neal hasn’t included the glass lens he promised! Now what?
Ask him to send the glass lens.

Also double-check your box. Mine had the glass lens inside the little bag with the o-rings inside the box.

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One of mine was in the o ring bag and one was between the box and the outer sleeve, it just fell out when I was trying to get those damn things separated.

Also, side observation. One of mine had a clear “all in one” plastic optic and one was frosted. I guess they made a few versions to try out.

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teacher wrote:
Quote:
Stonewashed Ti looks cheap and ugly and ruins a damn fine material.
This is your personal preference/opinion, which is fine. But it does not necessarily reflect a general consensus. People like raw, polished, stonewashed, & bead/sand blasted Titanium.
Personally, I like stonewashed & bead/sand blasted. It beautifies it & adds character as far as I am concerned.
Quote:
Leave this bad idea to cheap knives manufacturers.
Big Smile … Many knife makers/manufacturers stonewash or bead/sand blast the Ti handles on their knives. CRK is a prime example, and his knives are not exactly cheap.

I’m with teacher on this one, I personally love stonewashed Ti. Not everything needs to be a perfect shiny material, some dings, scratches, marks, patina is what makes it unique. CRK along with Zero Tolerance, Spyderco and numerous others use stonewashed Ti on their knives and it looks amazing imo.

whitecitadel wrote:
Tally-ho wrote:
hodor wrote:
what’s the difference between stonewashed and bead blasted finishes?
Bead blasted has a mat finish and makes Ti looks a bit darker grey. E.g. : the Haiku bead blasted looks really nice : !https://i.imgur.com/z1Cpknzl.jpg!

I very much like that finish Thumbs Up

Who’s selling the FW3T? My google-foo appears to be failing me at 6pm…

No one yet, there is a thread about the stonewashed version to gain interest.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67912

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

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contactcr wrote:
One of mine was in the o ring bag and one was between the box and the outer sleeve, it just fell out when I was trying to get those damn things separated.

Aha, so is mine! I didn’t even see it in there. Thanks for the tip!

I’m not sure if it’s just my imagination or not, but the beam looks a little bit more green when I’m running it with a Carclo + glass instead of just the plastic optic. Possible side effect of AR coating? I might keep running the plastic optic if this is the case.

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  • I have a bead-blasted titanium Olight S1 and I do not like the finish. It feels like holding a stick of chalk. Similar to the rough finish of my white or blue anodized aluminum Emisar D4s.
  • I find these rough textures only feel good in the hands if I just rubbed them with moisturizer. But if my hands are dry, it feels unpleasant.
  • Bead blasted titanium also doesn’t look special. It looks very similar to grey anodized aluminum.

For titanium, I much prefer polished. It feels good in the hands, is durable, and looks classy.

contactcr
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Klayking wrote:
contactcr wrote:
One of mine was in the o ring bag and one was between the box and the outer sleeve, it just fell out when I was trying to get those damn things separated.

Aha, so is mine! I didn’t even see it in there. Thanks for the tip!

I’m not sure if it’s just my imagination or not, but the beam looks a little bit more green when I’m running it with a Carclo + glass instead of just the plastic optic. Possible side effect of AR coating? I might keep running the plastic optic if this is the case.

The stock AR lens does make it more green. Look at the CIE chart I posted a page or so back. The UCL lens is probably similar to the plastic lens.

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Ah yes, thanks for the great chart. That’s quite a difference.

As this light will probably spend most of its time being used around the house, I’ll keep the plastic optic installed. The flood is better than having extra throw in this case, and I would very much like to take the slight tint improvement this optic offers.

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Klayking wrote:
the beam looks a little bit more green when I’m running it with a Carclo + glass instead of just the plastic optic. Possible side effect of AR coating?

Yes, but you can probably eliminate the tint difference by polishing off the AR coating. That’s what I’ve been doing with all of mine, and it seems to help.

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As quite a few different finishes were and are tested and are proposed : aluminum with different anodization colors, sand/bead blasted copper, polished copper, stonewashed titanium, could it be possible to have a version with machining marks like it was supposed to looks like :

FW3A Team wrote:

Looks

Clear anodisation (no pigments) and NO sanding or sandblasting of the parts after machining.

This makes the FW3A look like it came of a lathe of a skilled machinist with the added protection anodisation offers to keep it beautiful for a long time.

No marking/logo for a clean look

Stainless steel clip


Here I’m speaking for myself, I’m not very demanding concerning the material used, I will be happy with aluminum or copper or brass (preferably) or titanium+copper but could we have at least and at last THE version with machining marks, please ?
I would be eternally grateful for a brass with machining marks and SST-20 4000K, or aluminum with maching marks and clear anodization, i’m pretty sure they can make clear anodization right.

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