Off-Time Memory Dependent On Altitude? - Resolved!

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NeutralFan
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Off-Time Memory Dependent On Altitude? - Resolved!

I built a Convoy S2+ with a RMM Moonlight Special driver and BLF A6 firmware, see here: Convoy S2+ Mod With A Lighted Switch. I struggled a little bit getting the bleeder resistor correct for the lighted switch, but eventually figured it out.

The flashlight functions well and I measure a 7 second off-time memory. Meaning that if I turn off the flashlight and turned it back on within 7 seconds, it will consider that a backward press and go into the previous mode. After 7 seconds, it comes back on in the mode I turned it off in (or if I turn memory mode off, it will go into the lowest mode).

What was strange was when we were in the beautiful state of Colorado last week, the off-time memory increased to 45 seconds! I thought something went bad and was going to investigate once I got back to Wisconsin.

But now that I’m back, the off-time memory is also back to 7 seconds.

The elevation in Colorado was around 9,800 feet and in Wisconsin it is around 1,000 feet.

Any thoughts?

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Edited by: NeutralFan on 01/09/2018 - 20:51
koef3
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Maybe the electrolyte in the capacitor responsible for the off-time memory has changed it’s behavior so the nominal capacity has increased significantly?
Is this a known phenomena in such components?

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Mike C
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Never heard of altitude having that kind of impact, but I ain’t no electronics guy. Where temperature conditions the same when testing in Colorado?

NeutralFan
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Yes, both were inside, so around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

In hindsight, I wish I would’ve brought along another flashlight that had off-time memory to see if it had the same issue. I/we had 2 ZebraLights, a UV Convoy to look for all the nasties, and 2 Nitecore Tubes, so we were equipped just in case.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

cera@1967
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 For so many ears I'm using my lights (modded with a bleeding resistor placed in parallel ,on top of next mode capacitor ) , from seaside up to 2500meters altitude , and NEVER experienced something like this . In normal conditions ( humidity and temperature ) ,the atmospheric pressure has NO impact on the stability of electronic components .

More than that , the capacitors from the drivers are mostly SMD , film capacitors , and the only "drift" they have is the thermal one ..., and under no circumstances could be so drastic !...( 7 to 45 seconds ?).

If this really happen, must be something else involved , some sort of bad soldering (cold ones) , or humidity building inside the driver...

Adrian

Lexel
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Maybe in Colorado you had almost empty battery and charged it at home?

NeutralFan
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I brought a charger and charged the battery while there. Did not make a difference. Nor does a discharged battery impact the off-time memory here in Wisconsin.

In Colorado it was very dry in the condo we were staying at, so there would not have been a humidity issue in the driver. And hopefully as you can see from my build link, I don’t think I have any bad solder joints. And if there were and it was causing the problem, I would expect that to also be an issue regardless of my location.

I thought for sure it was due to the altitude, but it doesn’t appear others have had a similar experience. Maybe it’s specific to the RMM Moonlight Special driver?

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

MascaratumB
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Could it be some kind of “static electricity” issue?

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gchart
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bigm
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Aliens, maybe. Quantum wormhole-like dimensional shift, possibly.. Silly I’m leaning more towards static issues. Maybe some kind of localized magnetic field effect from all the metal in the mountains, but that’s a pretty big stretch. Just reaching here, but was the battery put in backwards at all by accident, even if you didn’t turn it on? That might have temporarily messed with the timing.

NeutralFan
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I didn’t charge the battery until a couple days after we arrived in Colorado, so no reverse battery accident causing the issue. I noticed on the fist night that the off-time memory was significantly longer. At first I thought it no longer existed, but when I waited long enough it eventually maintained the last mode. The following morning I measured with my watch that it increased to 45 seconds, 44 seconds was not long enough. The 45 second off-time was maintained the entire week.

I know this sounds bizarre to a lot, if not all of you, but I swear it happened. Again I wished I would’ve brought along my JAXMAN E2L that also has a lighted switch with a bleeder resistor and off-time memory to see if it had the same issue. And now knowing how strange this appears, I would’ve taken a video of it while in Colorado to show as proof here on BLF.

I also wish I had access to equipment to replicate the lower pressure in Colorado to see if I could recreate the issue now in Wisconsin. BTW, it was strange to see sealed packages looking like they were ready to explode.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

gchart
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Hmm, sounds like another trip to Colorado is in order!

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NeutralFan wrote:
… wish I had access to equipment to replicate the lower pressure in Colorado to see if I could recreate the issue now in Wisconsin. BTW, it was strange to see sealed packages looking like they were ready to explode.

that’s a common and real issue with sealed containers—such as electrolytic capacitors and some battery cells. Do you have either of these in your equipment? A swollen cap could definitely change it’s performance, and so could a swollen battery. Go find a local college chemistry lab with a bell jar vacuum chamber and run a test—in the name of science…

NeutralFan
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I would love to get back to Colorado, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon. Lots of great places to go on family vacation, so it’s hard to go back to the same place twice. But if I ever do, I’ll certainly report back!

So I guess this will remain a mystery. It seems it has something to do with the memory capacitor, but who knows for sure.

Thanks to all that have chimed in! I’m just glad it works as it should now.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

NeutralFan
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Last night I noticed my flashlight had a really short off-time memory. I went into the battery check mode and it indicated only 1 out of 4 flashes, so low battery.

I charged the battery overnight and this morning I check the off-time memory again, and guess what? It’s super long!

It wasn’t the altitude causing the off-time memory to be longer, it was the voltage! Facepalm

Strange how I didn’t notice this until I was out in Colorado. I charged the battery before leaving, and charged the battery while there due to my concern with the off-time memory, but that just perpetuated the issue. To my credit though, I completed the S2+ build just before leaving to Colorado so I didn’t have much time to play around with it.

Here’s how the voltage impacts the off-time memory:

  • 4.16 volts – 74 seconds
  • 4.07 volts – 45 seconds
  • 4.05 volts – 35 seconds
  • 3.96 volts – 24 seconds
  • 3.91 volts – 13 seconds
  • 3.86 volts – 6 seconds
  • 3.78 volts – 4 seconds
  • 3.68 volts – 2 seconds
  • 3.39 volts – 1.1 seconds

Glad I was able to figure this out. A strange quirk for a flashlight, but better than having no off-time memory at all.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

bigm
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I was wondering what was the cause. Now to figure out the why. Maybe someone with some knowledge of the firmware can enlighten us about how the voltage and bleeder resistor/lighted tailcap are changing the off-time memory. Interesting.

NeutralFan
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I don’t think Albert Einstein is with us anymore. LOL

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.