FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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ToyKeeper
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tatasal wrote:
I just removed the clip because I plan to holster it ( of course, bezel side up while doing it), and aside from the usual black o-ring, there also was a thin, white o-ring placed in front of the clip (facing to the head) presumably to prevent the clip from rattling.

What do you guys think, put back the white o-ring back when the clip is off?

That O-ring is there to keep the clip from rotating when the tailcap is tightened. If you don’t use the clip, it may be a good idea to take the white O-ring off too… and replace it with a thicker one to fill the gap. It doesn’t matter for waterproofing, but putting something in that gap gives it a better tactile feel.

Wieselflinkpro
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I had a lose Driver retainer ring on my flaschlight. I could hear it wgile opening for inserting the battery.

bmengineer
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I experienced the same issue with the driver not sitting against the keyed section properly. It's fixed for now, but it took some effort for two reasons:

  1. The retaining ring has loads of slop in relation to the threads, and can come extremely close to the inner contact ring.
  2. No one bothered to blow my sample out after machining, and there were tiny aluminum chips trying to short circuit whatever components they could.

Hopefully it's fixed now and I didn't miss any stray chips that are waiting to cause more trouble.

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mbp
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I hope this is the right place to ask. I have never modded a flashlight in my life, nor ever used a solder. But I couldn’t wait any longer and ordered one in XP-L HI 3D. I hope to replace the LEDs with LH351D 4000ks. How difficult will it be to do this mod? I assume it’s best to replace the entire MCPCB and I know Kaidomain and Mountain Electronics both sell triple LH351Ds pre-mounted. Will I just need to buy one of those boards and a solder gun? I apologize for being a total muggle but any information would be much appreciated.

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In theory, yes. However, some Kaidomain triple boards need different optics. The ones I have don’t match with Carclo optics.

Convoy S2+ 219b triple, Astrolux FT02, Maglite 3D, Solarforce L2t

Unloco
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Who has triple LH351D 4000K 90CRI pre-mounted Carclo compatible is L4P.

https://led4power.com/product/3x-samsung-lh351d-4000k-90cri-led-sphwhtl3da0gf4t0q6-20mm-3xp-20mm-dtp-copper-mcpcb/

Ooopsss… It seems to be SOLDOUT. The BUY button disappeared.

scout24
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I chuckled at the “nut roaster” comment in the manual. The clip is stronger than I expected which was a nice suprise. And it tailstands, which was also a nice suprise. I have finally found a ramping e-switch light I can live with and actually carry. Kudos to the team here and at TLF for putting this together, and for Lumintop for building it! I’d love to see an 18350 tube, and different finishes a’la the Emisar lights.

JasonWW
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mbp wrote:
I hope this is the right place to ask. I have never modded a flashlight in my life, nor ever used a solder. But I couldn’t wait any longer and ordered one in XP-L HI 3D. I hope to replace the LEDs with LH351D 4000ks. How difficult will it be to do this mod? I assume it’s best to replace the entire MCPCB and I know Kaidomain and Mountain Electronics both sell triple LH351Ds pre-mounted. Will I just need to buy one of those boards and a solder gun? I apologize for being a total muggle but any information would be much appreciated.

You should watch a lot of videos on soldering. Try to get an iron with some good power like 45w or more.

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cabfrank
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Even though I’m not very good at it, I can say it isn’t that hard. Get a board, pre-mounted, and some thermal paste. It is only two wires that way. Maybe practice a little on something else first.

JasonWW
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You don’t need paste, just rosin core solder. Yes, practice removing and reattaching wires to junk electronics.

For the FW3A you are removing 2 wires, swapping a board, then reattaching the 2 wires.

The only tricky thing about it is the mcpcb is a big heat sink so your iron needs to be pretty hot to melt the solder.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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shirnask
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That was thermal paste, not solder paste

teacher
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shirnask wrote:
That was thermal paste, not solder paste
/\ +1, like cabfrank said…..
Thermal Paste.

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

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JasonWW
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Okay, I see what what you mean now. There should already be thermal compound under the mcpcb. Just reuse what is there. You only need a super thin layer to fill the microscopic gaps.

If you want to be on the safe side and have plenty for future use, I’d buy this tiny size Arctic Silver 5 from MTN E for $6. That should last you forever, plus it’s top on the line and reusable.

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teacher
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Personally, I will be using brand spanking new Thermal Paste (Arctic Silver 5 to be exact Thumbs Up ); especially after reading THIS & seeing the associated pictures.

I’ll be doing that with any change of MCPCB & may do it on the ones left stock to just be sure.

Cleaning off all the old thermal paste & applying new just makes sense to me…. ymmv

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

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JasonWW
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teacher wrote:
Personally, I will be using brand spanking new Thermal Paste (Arctic Silver 5 to be exact Thumbs Up ); especially after reading THIS & seeing the associated pictures.

Okay, it looks like Lumintop is using some not so great paste that dries out quickly. I don’t like that kind of paste. Replacing it with something better is a good move. Thumbs Up

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teacher
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Yep… sadly it looks pretty crappy & not spread very well. Sad

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" ...................................

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Bob_McBob
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Has anyone else run into the issue where holding the switch just produces a low level fast strobe? ToyKeeper said it’s probably a short causing the driver to continuously reboot, or something to that effect. One of my FW3As does it on and off, and bmengineer and vinh (skylumen) have both had the same problem.

JasonWW
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Bob_McBob wrote:
Has anyone else run into the issue where holding the switch just produces a low level fast strobe? ToyKeeper said it’s probably a short causing the driver to continuously reboot, or something to that effect. One of my FW3As does it on and off, and bmengineer and vinh (skylumen) have both had the same problem.

I think it’s from the inner tube not making good contact. Clean all the tube ends and contacts, then tighten up the tail first, snugly, then tighten the head. The tolerances on this light design are quite tight.

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G0OSE
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teacher wrote:
Yep… sadly it looks pretty crappy & not spread very well. Sad

When will these manufacturers learn? This seems to be a very common ‘shortcut’ that seems to happen over and over again from a lot of companies. Not like it’s a half hour job or would cost any more, and if it did I think it’s safe to say we’d all be happy to pay $0.50 more to have it done properly so we don’t have to.
You would think they know by now there would be backlash, particularly when it has been designed by enthusiasts – it’s kind of a given that the first thing a good portion of these people will do is strip it down! Facepalm
I just think it makes them look sloppy, when there is zero need for it really – bad press for the sake of it.
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Yeah, it’s not that much more expensive to do it properly. At least Lumintop applied that paste in a “good enough” way, covering a decent area.
I recently opened my S2+ SST-20 and Convoy had used thermal paste that looked good but it covered only maybe 30% of the area.
I’m splitting hairs here but in my opinion “a dab + press it in” is not good enough. Surely you could just spend the couple of seconds it would take to twist the MCPCB back and forth a couple of times to spread the paste. These are not some CPU/GPU coolers with a decent amount of mounting pressure that actually spread the paste when you screw them down.
And adding a teeny weeny bit more to make sure there is enough to fully take advantage of the surface area doesn’t hurt and won’t cost that much more..

P.S. I personally use Arctic MX-2 for everything as it’s cheap, available in large tubes, offers good performance and it’s lower viscosity makes it easy to work with and spread easily without needing to warm it up.

saypat
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G0OSE wrote:
teacher wrote:
Yep… sadly it looks pretty crappy & not spread very well. Sad
When will these manufacturers learn? This seems to be a very common ‘shortcut’ that seems to happen over and over again from a lot of companies. Not like it’s a half hour job or would cost any more, and if it did I think it’s safe to say we’d all be happy to pay $0.50 more to have it done properly so we don’t have to. You would think they know by now there would be backlash, particularly when it has been designed by enthusiasts – it’s kind of a given that the first thing a good portion of these people will do is strip it down! Facepalm I just think it makes them look sloppy, when there is zero need for it really – bad press for the sake of it.



maybe 2+ years wasn’t enuf time to get all the details right.

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My understanding is thermal paste should never be reused. To get best thermal contact you should always clean off the old thermal paste and apply a fresh layer anytime you remove the star.

teacher
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@ GOOSE .. Yeah, I know what you mean. If it wasn’t so sad it would be almost funny. Why not just do it 100%… or at least 99%.

There is a knife company very close to where ai live… they do the same thing. They build a very decent knife but the fit n’ finish is most often 90% – 95%. My buddy & I just look at each other & shake our heads.

All it would take is just a very, very tiny bit of extra effort or attention and it would make all the difference in the world….. instead of being “just good enough”. Wink

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

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teacher
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Firelight2 wrote:
My understanding is thermal paste should never be reused. To get best thermal contact you should always clean off the old thermal paste and apply a fresh layer anytime you remove the star.
I don’t know what the experts say, but for me I never reuse it.

I do just what you said… clean it all off and start with fresh new thermal paste.

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" ...................................

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Omega_17
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teacher wrote:
They build a very decent knife but the fit n’ finish is most often 90% – 95%. My buddy & I just look at each other & shake our heads.

All it would take is just a very, very tiny bit of extra effort or attention and it would make all the difference in the world….. instead of being “just good enough”. Wink

Seems easy on the paper but this is the difference between a big name and a random inferior brand. The hardest is to achieve this last percentage closer to perfection. But not anyone can do it or can afford to do it.

teacher
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Omega_17 wrote:
teacher wrote:
They build a very decent knife but the fit n’ finish is most often 90% – 95%. My buddy & I just look at each other & shake our heads.

All it would take is just a very, very tiny bit of extra effort or attention and it would make all the difference in the world….. instead of being “just good enough”. Wink

Seems easy on the paper but this is the difference between a big name and a random inferior brand. The hardest is to achieve this last percentage closer to perfection. But not anyone can do it or can afford to do it.
Yep… as far as performance these knive are not inferior, they preform well. It’s just the last little bit of fitment of handle slabs, one more tap on a pin to close a tiny gap, etc., etc.

But like you (kinda) said, that seperates the men from the boys. And it also seperates price points. Wink

Maybe they are where they want to be in the market place???

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" ...................................

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G0OSE
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teacher wrote:
@ GOOSE .. Yeah, I know what you mean. If it wasn’t so sad it would be almost funny. Why not just do it 100%… or at least 99%.

There is a knife company very close to where ai live… they do the same thing. They build a very decent knife but the fit n’ finish is most often 90% – 95%. My buddy & I just look at each other & shake our heads.

All it would take is just a very, very tiny bit of extra effort or attention and it would make all the difference in the world….. instead of being “just good enough”. Wink

Yeah lol, or maybe we are just fussy moaning old gits! Davie But I don’t think so really, it’s not a big ask to have it done properly, I would expect it on a $10 light for the masses, but a $35 for enthusiasts… well maybe not.

teacher
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/\ Thumbs Up … I am a somewhat picky old fart, but I don’t even think things like this is being picky. It’s just like you said.. do it right. The first timeWink

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" ...................................

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Expected results: lamp turns on/off, smooth ramping of light level from floor to ceiling. (very similar to the Q8 behavior)

Actual results: lamp turns on, switches between ceiling, and turbo mode. lamp will not shut off without removing the battery.

Now, I purchased two FW3A lamps, one works exactly as expected, the other lamp does not function like my Q8. It could be that the lamp is in some odd mode, but it does not function as expected.

Battery used: Sanyo UR18650NSX, also tried LG HG2 – no change.

Has anyone got any advice on further troubleshooting?

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Loosen the tail a bit, loosen the head, then tighten the tail as much as you can, then tighten the head. The issue should go away.

This worked for me. Thanks. My symptoms were, I would just get a blink as I was tightening the head on but other than that the light was unresponsive. I had taken both ends off a few times when I was trying to figure out what was going on. But nothing worked until I followed these instructions.

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