TLF/BLF/Lumintop FW3A review (18650, 3x XP-L HI cool white)

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maukka
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NWoodsman wrote:
Maukka, can you provide the inner diameter of the clip? Want to see if the Ti surefire clip on prometheus lights’s website can fit.

ToyKeeper measured the OD of the body section it’s around at 22.9 mm.

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NWoodsman wrote:
Maukka, can you provide the inner diameter of the clip? Want to see if the Ti surefire clip on prometheus lights’s website can fit.

Clip id is 23,1 mm

DB Custom
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Funkychateau, the triple FW3A was designed to be a poor mans custom hot rod, it was known from the get-go that a protected cell would not power it to design specs so it was not taken into consideration to make it accept these lesser performing cells.

The Dodge Demon Hellcat doesn’t come with back seats. By design. for those that want it for it’s maximum power delivery this is perfect, for those that want back seats there are other models. Big Smile

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Bob_McBob wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
If accommodating button-tops would suddenly make flat-tops lose contact, I’d expect problems with my Emisars, Nitecores, and Zebralights. But these digest both configurations without a hitch. Probably the only thing needed for the FW3A would be to lengthen the springs as well as the tubes. Just copy the Emisar’s battery-compartment dimensions.

Zebralight doesn’t really support button top cells. Even if you can cram it in there, the current pogo pin configuration often won’t make contact with the terminal.

My ZL SC-600 II works equally well with flat and button tops. It even works with several varieties of protected button-tops. Perhaps there are other models that don’t.

My point was that’s it’s simple to accommodate both flat and button-top (unprotected) batteries in a single design. I don’t think anyone would dispute that the D4/D1 series does this nicely.

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Those are the old style. Newer ones such as the SC64c (even with its tailcap spring) can’t fit a button top battery. Just tested with a 66.3mm long 30Q.

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DB Custom wrote:
Funkychateau, the triple FW3A was designed to be a poor mans custom hot rod, it was known from the get-go that a protected cell would not power it to design specs so it was not taken into consideration to make it accept these lesser performing cells.

The Dodge Demon Hellcat doesn’t come with back seats. By design. for those that want it for it’s maximum power delivery this is perfect, for those that want back seats there are other models. Big Smile

Dale, I don’t follow this “protected” line of reasoning. Most protected cells would be electrically inadequate, so why would anyone bother trying to accommodate them? I know I’ve never argued for such, and I doubt anyone else has either.

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It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

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DB Custom wrote:
It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

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Yeah but still

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funkychateau wrote:
DB Custom wrote:
It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

Supporting button tops is a poor choice because they shouldn’t exist in the first place IMHO. Only AA/14500 and AAA/10440 lights should support both due to the disposable and NiMH cells being exclusively button top.

All e-cigs I know of really only support flat tops and any commonality between that HUGE market and flashlights is a win for li-ion flashlights.

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funkychateau wrote:

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work.

I’m not sure I understand you, but the FW3A does support flat top and button top. Are you thinking it doesn’t?

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funkychateau wrote:
Just surprised no one else thought of it.

They did think of it. They incorporated it into the design, and it works. The FW3A can use flat-top or button-top cells, as long as they don’t have a protection circuit added.

Button-top cells work in:

  • Proto1
  • Proto2
  • Production lights (proto5)

Button-top cells don’t work in:

  • Proto4

… and the status of proto3 is unknown, because everyone who received one disappeared before reporting results.

The proto4 lights didn’t work with button-top cells because of a manufacturing error which put the driver in the wrong place. It was the reason why proto4 wasn’t approved for production… but it has been fixed.

Hopefully there won’t be any more uncertainty about it.

funkychateau
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JasonWW wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work.
I’m not sure I understand you, but the FW3A does support flat top and button top. Are you thinking it doesn’t?

It’s been repeated several times that 66 mm would be the absolute maximum length, even after the driver-fit issue was resolved. I believe this was again reported after the last prototype evaluation.

But I sincerely hope you are correct, and longer button-top cells such as my 30Qs (66.8 mm) and VTC4s (66.6 mm) are accommodated without risk of denting.

I’m buying anyway, of course.

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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
DB Custom wrote:
It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

Supporting button tops is a poor choice because they shouldn’t exist in the first place IMHO. Only AA/14500 and AAA/10440 lights should support both due to the disposable and NiMH cells being exclusively button top.

All e-cigs I know of really only support flat tops and any commonality between that HUGE market and flashlights is a win for li-ion flashlights.

But they do exist, in great quantity. And they are the recommended fodder for some lights, such as Emisar.

Many of us have quite an assortment of batteries on hand, and it’s a win-win to have flashlights that accept both.

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funkychateau wrote:
I sincerely hope you are correct, and longer button-top cells such as my 30Qs (66.8 mm) and VTC4s (66.6 mm) are accommodated

I’m not sure if you saw my first answer, but it was about a page ago:

ToyKeeper wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
accomodating unprotected button-top cells

I tried a cell 66.8 mm long in my production sample, and it worked fine.

BurningPlayd0h
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funkychateau wrote:
BurningPlayd0h wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
DB Custom wrote:
It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

Supporting button tops is a poor choice because they shouldn’t exist in the first place IMHO. Only AA/14500 and AAA/10440 lights should support both due to the disposable and NiMH cells being exclusively button top.

All e-cigs I know of really only support flat tops and any commonality between that HUGE market and flashlights is a win for li-ion flashlights.

But they do exist, in great quantity. And they are the recommended fodder for some lights, such as Emisar.

Many of us have quite an assortment of batteries on hand, and it’s a win-win to have flashlights that accept both.

Lights that accept button-tops – really those that prefer them – are the cause, not the effect. The sooner that incentive to manufacture them disappears and li-ion cells are as standardized as other batteries (as they should be since the entire naming scheme for them is based on their size) the better.

I get that it sucks for people that have mostly have button-tops but the standards change for tech way faster than they have for flashlights in just about every other industry. Thankfully we don’t have to measure USB, HDMI, etc. cables before using them for anything.

funkychateau
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
BurningPlayd0h wrote:
funkychateau wrote:
DB Custom wrote:
It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

Supporting button tops is a poor choice because they shouldn’t exist in the first place IMHO. Only AA/14500 and AAA/10440 lights should support both due to the disposable and NiMH cells being exclusively button top.

All e-cigs I know of really only support flat tops and any commonality between that HUGE market and flashlights is a win for li-ion flashlights.

But they do exist, in great quantity. And they are the recommended fodder for some lights, such as Emisar.

Many of us have quite an assortment of batteries on hand, and it’s a win-win to have flashlights that accept both.

Lights that accept button-tops – really those that prefer them – are the cause, not the effect. The sooner that incentive to manufacture them disappears and li-ion cells are as standardized as other batteries (as they should be since the entire naming scheme for them is based on their size) the better.

I get that it sucks for people that have mostly have button-tops but the standards change for tech way faster than they have for flashlights in just about every other industry. Thankfully we don’t have to measure USB, HDMI, etc. cables before using them for anything.

And it’s good that the USB 3.0 ports on my computer also read and write USB 2.0 devices. I have quite a few of those around. Compatibility is a good thing.

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funkychateau wrote:
DB Custom wrote:
It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning... apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

And may I say funkychateau, you are doing a masterful job of that; in both this & the main FW3A thread too I might add. Reviving the discussion every month or two & dissappearing for a while after the lively debates.
Masterful my friend… masterful. Thumbs Up . Beer .. But.. Facepalm

Smile

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funkychateau wrote:

And it’s good that the USB 3.0 ports on my computer also read and write USB 2.0 devices. I have quite a few of those around. Compatibility is a good thing.

I’d argue that that backward compatibility shows the opposite: there was a clearly defined physical standard, not the original USB port dimensions and also a slightly different one that was hacked together for no reason, creating the actual compatibility issues.

If a light can use both that’s cool, but button tops in general are a problem looking for a solution.

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Just remove the button top. It’s easy.

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JasonWW wrote:
Just remove the button top. It’s easy.

I have some protected button tops that I should not have ordered. I’m also quite new to all of this. Can you point me to an article or video that gives instructions on how to change these to unprotected flat tops?

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I’m also interested in this if it can be done right and safe. I tought it was impossible to do so because they are spotwelded. But I m known to be wrong on occasions

Idiot proofing something only creates improved idiots.

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dekozn wrote:

(snip)
But I m known to be wrong on occasions
Big Smile …. Me too…. Thumbs Up . Wink

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

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It really isn’t safe for someone without a LOT of Li-ion experience to try and remove a spot welded button top. Very easy to short out the cell and that can be bad. The safe option is to get new flat top cells for the devices that use them and use the button tops in lights that require them, like the D18, Meteor, Q8, and so on…

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DB Custom wrote:
It really isn’t safe for someone without a LOT of Li-ion experience to try and remove a spot welded button top. Very easy to short out the cell and that can be bad. The safe option is to get new flat top cells for the devices that use them and use the button tops in lights that require them, like the D18, Meteor, Q8, and so on…

That is the correct advice.

But, it’s pretty easy to remove the button, which is just spot-welded with a nickle strip to the positive terminal of the “real” flat-top unprotected cell. As long as the wrap and insulation ring is protecting the cell from shorting, then just take a pair of pliers and rip off the nickle strip. That will leave some bumps on the battery from the spot-weld. Take a dremel tool, and very gently sand them away. Done.

Of course, my advice is not to do that, unless you’re very sure of what you’re doing. At the very least, keep a bucket of water nearby to throw the cell in if things go wrong. And then run so you don’t breath any of the very toxic fumes from a lithium-ion fire.

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Not all are done that way, some are literally spot welded in three places around the outer edge of the button. Those are much more difficult to remove if you don’t know what you’re doing. Wink

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Uh, totally wrong advice to throw a li-ion cell in a bucket of water! Lithium reacts with water and burns! No NO No!

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nobody wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
Just remove the button top. It’s easy.

I have some protected button tops that I should not have ordered. I’m also quite new to all of this. Can you point me to an article or video that gives instructions on how to change these to unprotected flat tops?


I don’t have any links, sorry. If you are good with tools it should not be too hard.

First, you have to understand that the positive and negative part of the battery are very close, so caution has to be used to not touch both at the same time with anything metal. If you do, you might get a spark. No big deal, but try to avoid that. Discharging the battery to 3v or so also improves safety.

In the picture below, the positive is the red part and the negative is everything dark gray, the vast majority of the exterior. There is only the gold layer (plastic insulator) that keeps them seperate.

Button tops are stacked onto the red piece. Sometimes they are spot welded, sometimes not. Sometimes they have a longer metal strip underneath that is spot welded on each end. There are a lot of variations.

Here is a 30Q with a button top spot welded in place. It had a clear wrapper covering the stock pink wrapper. I cut away the clear wrapper and used a small screwdriver to pry the button top off.

I did not need to add a new wrapper, but I do keep some handy.

Here is a different 30Q that I removed the button from that had the metal strip under it. I cut it’s clear wrapper off, lifted the button top and then used pliers to carefully pull the spot welded strap off the battery. You might need to used a small grinder or Dremel to get rid of any burrs from the spot welds.

You might want to practice on a junk button top battery just to get an understanding of it’s construction before trying it on a good battery. Always be careful to not cause a short circuit. You also might want to use an extra piece of insulating plastic to put over the edge of the cell to make it easier to pry the button top off.

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LOL Teacher, I can handle a little sarcastic jab. But it does seem that I keep responding to the same notions over and over, from new folks that haven’t read previous posts. And if I disappear for a few days, or even a week, it’s not part of a plan. I just have a pretty busy life offline. I retired four years ago, and I’m still waiting for the “leisure” part to kick in.

However, this notion that we should never accommodate button tops because doing so encourages a bastard battery configuration that “shouldn’t even exist” (because the e-cig community doesn’t use them) is a new angle …

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DB Custom wrote:
Uh, totally wrong advice to throw a li-ion cell in a bucket of water! Lithium reacts with water and burns! No NO No!

It’s my understanding that there is no lithium metal in lithium-ion cells. So, it shouldn’t react with water. Well, that’s my understanding, but I’ve never tried it.

Lithium primary cells do contain lithium metal, so I could see how those might react.

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