FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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ToyKeeper
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About the wires getting ripped off by rotation, I’m guessing that isn’t usually an issue for people who change the optic, since the thermal paste is already stiffened up by the time they open the light. It might be an issue at the factory though, when the paste is still fresh and moves freely.

Atom00 wrote:
When i perform click, click, hold ……it just respond by one dim flash/flicker and goes off.

The last Group 2 mode i used was lightning storm.

It might just be that lightning storm mode doesn’t feel like making any big flashes right away. After the dim flash, try leaving the light alone to see if the lightning continues. Or, after the dim flash, try to click twice to see if it goes to the next mode.

Atom00
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ToyKeeper wrote:
About the wires getting ripped off by rotation, I’m guessing that isn’t usually an issue for people who change the optic, since the thermal paste is already stiffened up by the time they open the light. It might be an issue at the factory though, when the paste is still fresh and moves freely.

Atom00 wrote:
When i perform click, click, hold ……it just respond by one dim flash/flicker and goes off.

The last Group 2 mode i used was lightning storm.

It might just be that lightning storm mode doesn’t feel like making any big flashes right away. After the dim flash, try leaving the light alone to see if the lightning continues. Or, after the dim flash, try to click twice to see if it goes to the next mode.

I did try to wait but nothing happen so i try to click twice and it goes into turbo.

cabfrank
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Lightning mode > sliced bread.

By the way, how does one adjust the party strobe to “freeze” things, such as falling water and ceiling fans? Is it just trial and error? I don’t mean how to button press to make changes, i got that part, I mean what frequency works, slower/faster.

wle
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cabfrank wrote:
Lightning mode > sliced bread.

By the way, how does one adjust the party strobe to “freeze” things, such as falling water and ceiling fans? Is it just trial and error? I don’t mean how to button press to make changes, i got that part, I mean what frequency works, slower/faster.

ceiling fans look good at many different speeds, you just have to try them all..
falling water, hard to say

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ToyKeeper
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cabfrank wrote:
By the way, how does one adjust the party strobe to “freeze” things, such as falling water and ceiling fans? Is it just trial and error? I don’t mean how to button press to make changes, i got that part, I mean what frequency works, slower/faster.

… just change the speed until it looks good? It’s not a science; it’s more of an aesthetic thing. As a general guideline though, typically the ideal flashing speed correlates to the speed of the thing being viewed. Faster-moving objects tend to work better with faster strobe frequencies.

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Unscrew the head and screw it back on just in case.

cabfrank
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Thanks TK. Kind of what I thought, trial and error until it looks good. Really cool at any rate.

By the way, you skipped part of the quote; lightning mode>sliced bread. Wink

wle
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i mean it would be different if the flashlight had some way to tell you its strobe speed, then you could tell the speed of rotating objects, but it doesn;t do that, so anything ‘works’ – it’s just fun and games

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
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Atom00 wrote:

I have double check to make sure i’m not in muggle mode.

I’m unable to go into Group 2 now.
When i perform click, click, hold ……it just respond by one dim flash/flicker and goes off.

I’m able to go into Group 2 the first time when i received this light and i was playing with all the Group 2 mode (candle, bike flasher, party strobe, tactical strobe, lightning storm). The last Group 2 mode i used was lightning storm.


Very strange. I’m not sure what could cause this. Do all the other functions work, like battery check and temperature check? It fully ramps up and down?

Just no strobes are working?

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Atom00
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JasonWW wrote:
Atom00 wrote:

I have double check to make sure i’m not in muggle mode.

I’m unable to go into Group 2 now.
When i perform click, click, hold ……it just respond by one dim flash/flicker and goes off.

I’m able to go into Group 2 the first time when i received this light and i was playing with all the Group 2 mode (candle, bike flasher, party strobe, tactical strobe, lightning storm). The last Group 2 mode i used was lightning storm.


Very strange. I’m not sure what could cause this. Do all the other functions work, like battery check and temperature check? It fully ramps up and down?

Just no strobes are working?

All are working. Just can’t go into Group 2 mode.

Ryzbor
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teacher wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
One of my six cats throw my FWA3 off a table (1m) and it doesn’t work any more Facepalm
Does anyone know the driver size and whether is’t replaceable with the Emisar D4 driver?
Sorry to hear that. Did you try tightening everything up again??

Go HERE . Read it, do what is says, and hopefully that will fix you up. Thumbs Up

Did as you suggested. Unfortunately it didn’t work. Maybe a full disassembly will, but I lack the skills.

JasonWW wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
Does anyone know the driver size and whether is’t replaceable with the Emisar D4 driver?
It is custom driver. Nothing else works.

damm : /

1000 point question: does the 219C FWA3 have the 219 dedicated firmware Toykeeper made?

virence.com rosy 3500K R9080 Wizard Pro, MF01 Mini 4000K R9080 (needs more 219B), super rosy 3000K E21A mix Skilhunt H04 on it's way

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Ryzbor wrote:
teacher wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
One of my six cats throw my FWA3 off a table (1m) and it doesn’t work any more Facepalm
Does anyone know the driver size and whether is’t replaceable with the Emisar D4 driver?
Sorry to hear that. Did you try tightening everything up again??

Go HERE . Read it, do what is says, and hopefully that will fix you up. Thumbs Up

Did as you suggested. Unfortunately it didn’t work. Maybe a full disassembly will, but I lack the skills.
No time to learn like the present. Wink

Try taking the bezel off & optic out, then look to make sure the wires are still soldered securely to the MCPCB.

Did you try another battery just for the heck of it??

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

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treellama
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Ryzbor wrote:
1000 point question: does the 219C FWA3 have the 219 dedicated firmware Toykeeper made?

That was for 219Bs; 219Cs should be able to handle direct drive. So I’m guessing no.
Ryzbor
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treellama wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
1000 point question: does the 219C FWA3 have the 219 dedicated firmware Toykeeper made?
That was for 219Bs; 219Cs should be able to handle direct drive. So I’m guessing no.

The 219C D4 has a different firmware limiting the fet to 80% so I was guessing this light could have it as well.

virence.com rosy 3500K R9080 Wizard Pro, MF01 Mini 4000K R9080 (needs more 219B), super rosy 3000K E21A mix Skilhunt H04 on it's way

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My light has been operating correctly except for an occasional glitch that goes away by tightening the head. Took the battery out today to charge for the first time so decided to check the retaining ring for tightness. Although it would not spin any tighter, I thought I saw it move towards the side (outward) as if it were cracked or didn’t fit the threads. Also, the signal ring is not center in relation to the retaining ring but the driver does not move and it appears to be seated flat with no gaps between it and the retainer ring. Doesn’t seem to affect operation but was wondering if anyone else has seen movement of the retainer like I described?

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Atom00 wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
Atom00 wrote:

I have double check to make sure i’m not in muggle mode.

I’m unable to go into Group 2 now.
When i perform click, click, hold ……it just respond by one dim flash/flicker and goes off.

I’m able to go into Group 2 the first time when i received this light and i was playing with all the Group 2 mode (candle, bike flasher, party strobe, tactical strobe, lightning storm). The last Group 2 mode i used was lightning storm.


Very strange. I’m not sure what could cause this. Do all the other functions work, like battery check and temperature check? It fully ramps up and down?

Just no strobes are working?


All are working. Just can’t go into Group 2 mode.

I can’t think of anything physically wrong with it. It sounds like a software glitch occurred which I’ve never heard of happening with the ATtiny 85. ToyKeeper might have an idea, but I don’t.

As a last resort you can loosen and check everything and retighten. Maybe even take the driver out and look at it. Loosening and then tightening everything has sometimes mysteriously fixed odd issues. It’s worth a try.

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ToyKeeper
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Atom00 wrote:
All are working. Just can’t go into Group 2 mode. [sic: strobe-group modes]

It could perhaps be rebooting as soon as it tries to blink a full-power strobe. This doesn’t generally happen on modern driver designs, but it was an issue with the original Wight driver when given a tiny25 MCU.

One other way to check this is to turn the light off, then hold the button to ramp all the way up. Does it abort and shut itself off? If not, turn the light off when it’s ramped all the way up, then click 3 times for battcheck, 2 times for sunset, and 2 times for beacon. Does full-power beacon mode work, or does it make the light shut itself off?

ToyKeeper
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Ryzbor wrote:
treellama wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
1000 point question: does the 219C FWA3 have the 219 dedicated firmware Toykeeper made?
That was for 219Bs; 219Cs should be able to handle direct drive. So I’m guessing no.

The 219C D4 has a different firmware limiting the fet to 80% so I was guessing this light could have it as well.

As far as I can tell, no. It should have the regular 100% power firmware. I never sent anything else to Lumintop, and I don’t think they’re in the habit of picking random files out of my periodic build directory.

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ToyKeeper wrote:

It could perhaps be rebooting as soon as it tries to blink a full-power strobe. This doesn’t generally happen on modern driver designs, but it was an issue with the original Wight driver when given a tiny25 MCU.

Off topic, but what would cause it to reboot? You make it seem light a large surge of power might cause voltage sag on the MCU. Maybe the input voltage to the MCU goes below 1.8v very briefly?

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saypat wrote:
so, we need another warning card now?

Should I write one for the assembly personal?

Atom00
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Atom00 wrote:
All are working. Just can’t go into Group 2 mode. [sic: strobe-group modes]

It could perhaps be rebooting as soon as it tries to blink a full-power strobe. This doesn’t generally happen on modern driver designs, but it was an issue with the original Wight driver when given a tiny25 MCU.

One other way to check this is to turn the light off, then hold the button to ramp all the way up. Does it abort and shut itself off? If not, turn the light off when it’s ramped all the way up, then click 3 times for battcheck, 2 times for sunset, and 2 times for beacon. Does full-power beacon mode work, or does it make the light shut itself off?

Yes you are right, from off i ramp all the way up till max and it shut itself off.

I just remember the head heats up dam fast and dam hot during the lightning storm mode.

ToyKeeper
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JasonWW wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
It could perhaps be rebooting as soon as it tries to blink a full-power strobe. This doesn’t generally happen on modern driver designs, but it was an issue with the original Wight driver when given a tiny25 MCU.
Off topic, but what would cause it to reboot? You make it seem light a large surge of power might cause voltage sag on the MCU. Maybe the input voltage to the MCU goes below 1.8v very briefly?

In past designs, it was the other way around. Voltage would spike to levels way above the attiny’s accepted range, at the trailing edge of each FET pulse. The attiny13a was okay with this and kept working anyway, but tiny25/45/85 is more sensitive to staying within its specified range. That’s why the Astrolux S41 used a BLF-A6 driver instead of a Bistro driver.

It shouldn’t be an issue with anything recent though, so it’s kind of a long shot. This issue was fixed a long time ago in pretty much everyone’s driver designs.

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Atom00 wrote:
Yes you are right, from off i ramp all the way up till max and it shut itself off.

That can probably be fixed by taking the light apart, cleaning everything, and putting it back together in the recommended order. Teacher’s FW3A thread has the details on that:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67058

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Atom00 wrote:
Yes you are right, from off i ramp all the way up till max and it shut itself off.

That can probably be fixed by taking the light apart, cleaning everything, and putting it back together in the recommended order. Teacher’s FW3A thread has the details on that:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67058

do you mean take apart the head and tailcap ?

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Every once in a while , mine will ramp up then shut off. Usually just twisting the head cures it .

JasonWW
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Atom00 wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
Atom00 wrote:

I have double check to make sure i’m not in muggle mode.

I’m unable to go into Group 2 now.
When i perform click, click, hold ……it just respond by one dim flash/flicker and goes off.

I’m able to go into Group 2 the first time when i received this light and i was playing with all the Group 2 mode (candle, bike flasher, party strobe, tactical strobe, lightning storm). The last Group 2 mode i used was lightning storm.


Very strange. I’m not sure what could cause this. Do all the other functions work, like battery check and temperature check? It fully ramps up and down?

Just no strobes are working?


All are working. Just can’t go into Group 2 mode.

Okay, points to software.
Atom00 wrote:

from off i ramp all the way up till max and it shut itself off.
Facepalm
Okay, this points back to a physical problem. If it shuts off at high current, then you have a weak connection somewhere. It sounds like there is excessive resistance somewhere and low currents allow the light to work fine, but when the current ramps up the weak connection gets overloaded and the circuit breaks. Clean all threads, battery ends and spring ends. Make sure the driver retaining ring threads are both clean and tight.

BTW, you turned off in Lightning storm so lightning storm is the first thing that turns on. Lightning storm always starts with a quick blast of turbo. This is why going into the blinky modes causes the sudden turn off.

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teacher
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JasonWW wrote:

1. BTW, you turned off in Lightning storm so lightning storm is the first thing that turns on.

2. Lightning storm always starts with a quick blast of turbo.

1. True

2. Are you sure about this? Based on the below… I think your statement is not correct Jason. Recheck yours please.

  • Mine do not always “start with a quick blast of turbo”. It is completely random…. from having to wait several seconds for anything to happen, to a full blast lightening strike, and/or anything in between.

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

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hank
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Quote:
turn the light off, then hold the button to ramp all the way up. Does it abort and shut itself off?

Mine was doing that first thing this morning.

After fiddling for a while, including some time at turbo, the ramp up to off problem quit happening.

JasonWW
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teacher wrote:
JasonWW wrote:

1. BTW, you turned off in Lightning storm so lightning storm is the first thing that turns on.

2. Lightning storm always starts with a quick blast of turbo.

1. True

2. Are you sure about this? Based on the below… I think your statement is not correct Jason. Recheck yours please.

  • Mine do not always “start with a quick blast of turbo”. It is completely random…. from having to wait several seconds for anything to happen, to a full blast lightening strike, and/or anything in between.

I thought I remembered ToyKeeper saying it always starts with a big blast of Turbo on some other thread. I tried it on my light ONCE, and it started with a big blast so I thought it was true. It does seem to fit the profile that Atoms light kept doing the same thing every time.

I just now tried it a few more times on my light and it does seem random. I’m wrong.

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Since Neal was unresponsive to my email requesting info on a possible return, I decided to chance it and see if I could confirm what my multimeter was telling me. Both solder joints on the MCPCB were intact, but after desoldering the wires and removing the driver, I saw that the black wire had broken at the solder joint to the driver. My guess is someone installing the MCPCB or the retaining ring got a little too forceful. The 7A is back from the dead and has quickly kicked the 3D to the “for sale” pile.

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