FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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nobody
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Igor wrote:
Yes, reconfigure the bottom to “moonlight”.

 

Thanks for confirming this.  I wish it still had the shortcut to "moonlight" and then the additional 7 steps but it is what it is.

Geuzzz
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nobody wrote:

Igor wrote:
Yes, reconfigure the bottom to “moonlight”.

 


Thanks for confirming this.  I wish it still had the shortcut to “moonlight” and then the additional 7 steps but it is what it is.

You can configure this. Just set the number of steps to 8.

mattlward
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wle wrote:
i don;t see how a side switch is supposed to prevent accidental activations. wle

I have carried a Zebralight for years along with various S2 builds. The Zebra just never comes on when clipped in my jeans. The recess on the side switch and the pressure required is just a perfect harmony. I do use the electronic lockout on the FW3A, after a couple of days it becomes second nature to use. I really like the FW3A, only complaint? I end up in weird modes from time to time and just unscrew the head and reset the light and all is back to normal.

This is not a light that I would give to my wife, she is a TBI survivor and it would just confuse and frustrate her to no end.

EDC rotation:
Convoy S2+, 6*7135, XM-L2 3D, 10 degree TIR, PilotDog lighted tailcap.
Convoy S2+, H17F, XM-L2 4C, lighted tailcap
Zebralight SC52w-L2
Zebralight SC62w
Olight S1A
Olight S1R

JasonWW
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JasonWW wrote:
Igor wrote:
Yes, reconfigure the bottom to “moonlight”.

Really? The stock setting is already at the very bottom of the ramp, does this setting change when in stepped ramping mode?

Also, how do you change it? Do you just start off in stepped ramping mode and do the 1, 21 and 7 clicks?


Hmmm, I tried it. I first put it in stepped ramping mode. Then went to the menu, clicked once on the first flutter and didn’t click at all on the other two flutters. It worked.

I decided to raise it a little higher so I gave the stepped ramp lower level 5 clicks.

Now I can be in smooth ramp lowest level which is very dim, click 3 times to switch to stepped ramping and you can see the brightness increase slightly. It doesn’t automatically dim back down when switching back to smooth ramping, but you can manually lower it.

Very neat. I didn’t realize you could program seperate level limits for each ramping type.

nobody
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JasonWW wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
Igor wrote:
Yes, reconfigure the bottom to “moonlight”.
Really? The stock setting is already at the very bottom of the ramp, does this setting change when in stepped ramping mode? Also, how do you change it? Do you just start off in stepped ramping mode and do the 1, 21 and 7 clicks?
Hmmm, I tried it. I first put it in stepped ramping mode. Then went to the menu, clicked once on the first flutter and didn't click at all on the other two flutters. It worked. I decided to raise it a little higher so I gave the stepped ramp lower level 5 clicks. Now I can be in smooth ramp lowest level which is very dim, click 3 times to switch to stepped ramping and you can see the brightness increase slightly. It doesn't automatically dim back down when switching back to smooth ramping, but you can manually lower it. Very neat. I didn't realize you could program seperate level limits for each ramping type.

 

Thats exactly what I did (especially lowering the bottom of the step to 5 clicks). Will play around with the number of steps to see what I might like better. I really like the customizations you can do on the stepped - for my needs anyways. It’s quick to go back and forth regardless. 

Yoav.Klein
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Hi,

I finally received my two FW3A lights from the GB a few days ago. One light works perfectly, but the other one is displaying a few strange behaviors:

  1. The light has a strong flicker. It’s not a regular pattern (like you would expect from PWM). It almost looks like the light is randomly jumping between different power levels. This flicker is most noticeable in the lower power levels, but is visible throughout the medium levels as well. At the highest levels, I don’t see it.
  2. Moonlight level isn’t working. In smooth ramping mode, when I ramp down all the way, the LEDs are all off. If I single-click the button, the LEDs keep off (i.e. it probably keeps the moon level as the memorized level, and each click toggles between “real off” and “on, but the LEDs aren’t putting out any light”). After clicking 4 times to go to electronic lockout mode, holding the button doesn’t turn on the LEDs either (I do get the short flash on entering and exiting electronic lockout mode). In stepped-ramping mode, ramping all the way down keeps the LEDs on, and the electronic lockout mode also works correctly. (On my working light, in stepped-ramping mode the moonlight level is a bit brighter than on smooth-ramping mode).
  3. One of the three LEDs appears to be more dim than the other two. This is most noticeable in the low levels, since I can look at the LEDs directly. It’s hard to tell from looking at the beam pattern, so I can’t confirm whether or not it affects the higher level too, but the beam does seem slightly less even than on the good light.
  4. The light appears noticeably dimmer than the good light. This is easiest to see in the stepped ramp mode – I can easily set both lights to the same level, and with fully changed batteries (Samsung 30Q) in both lights, the good flashlight is noticeably brighter, in most levels. At the highest level, they appear to have roughly equal brightness.

I noticed an easier post (#419) about the flickering, but didn’t see any updates from that user: http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1511337#comment-1511337

I tried the following workarounds:

  1. Calibrating the thermal sensor.
  2. Tightening both the head and the tailcap.
  3. Unscrewing the driver retaining ring (which was quite tight originally), re-centering the driver (even though it seemed centered originally), and tightening back down the driver retaining ring.
  4. Cleaning the edge of the driver and the threads

None of these changes made any difference.
I also confirmed (using a multi-meter) that I have no connection between the body/retaining ring and the wide brass ring on the driver’s perimeter (I assume that the inner tube contacts this ring), and I have a good connection between the body/retaining ring and the center pin of each of the 7135 chips on the board.

Finally, I tried switching parts between the two flashlights. Connecting the head from the good light to the body and tail sections of the bad light produces good results. Connecting the head of the bad light to the body and tail sections of the good light produces the same bad behaviors detailed above.

Based on the behavior I’m seeing, my guess is that there’s a problem with some of the 7135 chips on the driver.
Does anyone have any ideas for more workarounds/tests/fixes? Should I request a new light/head-section from Neal?

Thanks,
Yoav

thisnameisvalid
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Yoav.Klein wrote:
Hi,
  1. The light has a strong flicker. It’s not a regular pattern (like you would expect from PWM). It almost looks like the light is randomly jumping between different power levels. This flicker is most noticeable in the lower power levels, but is visible throughout the medium levels as well. At the highest levels, I don’t see it.
  2. Moonlight level isn’t working. In smooth ramping mode, when I ramp down all the way, the LEDs are all off. If I single-click the button, the LEDs keep off (i.e. it probably keeps the moon level as the memorized level, and each click toggles between “real off” and “on, but the LEDs aren’t putting out any light”). After clicking 4 times to go to electronic lockout mode, holding the button doesn’t turn on the LEDs either (I do get the short flash on entering and exiting electronic lockout mode). In stepped-ramping mode, ramping all the way down keeps the LEDs on, and the electronic lockout mode also works correctly. (On my working light, in stepped-ramping mode the moonlight level is a bit brighter than on smooth-ramping mode).
  3. One of the three LEDs appears to be more dim than the other two. This is most noticeable in the low levels, since I can look at the LEDs directly. It’s hard to tell from looking at the beam pattern, so I can’t confirm whether or not it affects the higher level too, but the beam does seem slightly less even than on the good light.
  4. The light appears noticeably dimmer than the good light. This is easiest to see in the stepped ramp mode – I can easily set both lights to the same level, and with fully changed batteries (Samsung 30Q) in both lights, the good flashlight is noticeably brighter, in most levels. At the highest level, they appear to have roughly equal brightness.

Dimmer LEDs are pretty normal for multi emitter lights, but the other things you describe are not. What do your 7135 chips look like? I’ve heard cheaper ones can have issues with consistency, particularly in moonlight modes. Maybe they’ve switched out the chips for crappy ones? They should have a “raptor claw” type symbol on them. Of thats good it sounds like the low mode chip might be faulty, although low brightness in turbo may indicate a high resistance somewhere in the current path.

My light seemed to have the flickering you describe, but only in turbo (I had no issue with it at all before, even after fiddling about). Cleaning the main threads of some of the lube seems to have fixed it. I was worried the FET was on its way out as that’s the only time it happened.

contactcr
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The chip that controls the bottom end (the “+1” in FET+N+1) is on the inside of the driver so unless he de-solders the MCPCB he cant get a picture of the important one.

JasonWW
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Yoav.Klein wrote:
Hi,

I finally received my two FW3A lights from the GB a few days ago. One light works perfectly, but the other one is displaying a few strange behaviors:…


Hmmm, this behavior does not sound like anything I can think of. There may be a problem with the software or maybe the driver. It’s quite odd.

Are you able to make a video to show what it’s doing? That might help.

I think the confirmation blinks going into and out of lockout mode and the moonlight level (20) of the stepped ramping are all done on the single 7135 channel. So that 7135 seems to be working. (it controls output up to about 125 lumen)

I don’t know if a bad 7135 chip can cause a flicker. Maybe someone here knows for sure.

Yoav.Klein
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Here's a photo of the bottom of my driver. I'll try to create a video showing the flicker later.

 

 

 

cabfrank
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Here is an image of the soldering on my just arrived SST-20 version. Any thoughts?

https://ibb.co/hfdnrpT

teacher
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cabfrank wrote:
Here is an image of the soldering on my just arrived SST-20 version. Any thoughts?

https://ibb.co/hfdnrpT

Not super pretty on the negative side. Is it stuck solidly??

If it is, just clean it all up with alcohol & go with it. . Thumbs Up

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

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From what I’ve read, the parasitic drain in the FW3A is nearly negligible. Yet if you’re going to not use the FW3A for a very long time (many weeks or months), it makes sense to take out the battery. True, a slight turn of the head doesn’t provide a full lockout of the light, but it does lockout the switch… which is the intention anyway — to prevent accidental activation. While 4 rapid clicks will do an electronic lockout, that’s 8 clicks every time (4 to disengage, 4 to engage)—not only a PITA but induces faster wear to the switch. That’s why I favor a slight turn of the head.

I’m hoping some of the DIY electronic switch replacements that have been done by veteran members here is inspirational enough for Lumintop to introduce an improved switch with a later release that is backwards compatible with the FW3A v1.

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Yoav.Klein wrote:
Based on the behavior I’m seeing, my guess is that there’s a problem with some of the 7135 chips on the driver.
Does anyone have any ideas for more workarounds/tests/fixes? Should I request a new light/head-section from Neal?
Thanks, Yoav

From what you describe it definitely sounds like there’s some kind of electronic issue with your light. If you did all the needful steps like tightening down the head retainer ring and tail cap and it still happens, this mandates a return. It’s a bummer for the distributors, but this is the unfortunate side effect of sloppy workmanship from Lumintop. My light functions fine, but I noticed the battery spring is askew. And I’ve seen some people with seriously worse situations, like this:

Don’t muck around with the light — just send it back and get a replacement.

cabfrank
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Teacher, I will take it apart later and make sure it’s tight. If so, I will clean it up and leave it alone. Thanks.

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cabfrank wrote:
Teacher, I will take it apart later and make sure it’s tight. If so, I will clean it up and leave it alone. Thanks.
My pleasure…. I think you’ll be good to go. Smile

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

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

       Texas Lumens Flashlights / M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$  

         Rudeness Level _ mΩ _ {width:70%} _ LightWiki _ LED Tint Chart  

      Xlamp size chart _ BatteryU _ Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???            TheOriginal _ TAB _ LightSearch _ BatterySearch _ 14500's _ DiCal 

 

                                             

joechina
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The default floor in SMOOTH RAMPING is lower than in STEPPED RAMPING.
Level 1 vs. level 20

Yes, Jason, thats the config to start the floor for stepped with moon.

And if someone wants the defaults for stepped back, it’s: 20, 21, 7

@Igor
try
1,21,8

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xevious wrote:

If you did all the needful steps like tightening down the head retainer ring and tail cap and it still happens, this mandates a return.

Don’t muck around with the light — just send it back and get a replacement.


You don’t actually send it back. Shipping would probably cost you more than the price of the light. It’s much cheaper to just keep the defective light and have Neal send a replacement head. Shipping is way way cheaper from China to US. (I don’t know where Yoav.Klein is at, but I use the US as an example)
xevious
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JasonWW wrote:
You don’t actually send it back. Shipping would probably cost you more than the price of the light. It’s much cheaper to just keep the defective light and have Neal send a replacement head. Shipping is way way cheaper from China to US. (I don’t know where Yoav.Klein is at, but I use the US as an example)
Thanks for clarifying — I didn’t know the policy was to ship a replacement part. I guess it makes sense. China must be subsidizing shipping from China to US. I still don’t know how I can buy a $1 item with free shipping and the seller make any money. It must cost them like $0.10 to mail small items.
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xevious wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
You don’t actually send it back. Shipping would probably cost you more than the price of the light. It’s much cheaper to just keep the defective light and have Neal send a replacement head. Shipping is way way cheaper from China to US. (I don’t know where Yoav.Klein is at, but I use the US as an example)
Thanks for clarifying — I didn’t know the policy was to ship a replacement part. I guess it makes sense. China must be subsidizing shipping from China to US. I still don’t know how I can buy a $1 item with free shipping and the seller make any money. It must cost them like $0.10 to mail small items.

It’s the other way around. The first world countries are subsidizing shipping from third world countries. A long ago UN thing to help up and coming countries. China probably doesn’t need any help anymore.
https://fortune.com/2015/03/11/united-nations-subsidy-chinese-shipping/

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