FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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LumenMax
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JasonWW wrote:
You can switch between smooth and stepped ramping with 3 fast clicks while light is turned on.

 

Never mind. I tried your instructions again and it worked. Thank you!

JasonWW
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LumenMax wrote:

JasonWW wrote:
You can switch between smooth and stepped ramping with 3 fast clicks while light is turned on.

 


Never mind. I tried your instructions again and it worked. Thank you!


Cool.
I think it’s a bit too easy to accidentally do 4 clicks and change the settings. Ughh

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LumenMax
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JasonWW wrote:
LumenMax wrote:

JasonWW wrote:
You can switch between smooth and stepped ramping with 3 fast clicks while light is turned on.

 

Never mind. I tried your instructions again and it worked. Thank you!

Cool. I think it's a bit too easy to accidentally do 4 clicks and change the settings. :UGHH:

 

It is Big Smile

RedForest UK
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I recently bought an FW1A to see what all the fuss was about.

Unfortunately the one I got seems to have quite serious issues. I’ve spent a few hours trying the solutions mentioned in this and other threads, but I just can’t get it to work consistently.

Where the problem is now is that during tightening the head it will flash to show contact, but when fully tightened not respond to the switch or do anything at all. Sometimes it will instead treat it as if the switch is in a locked-on position and ramp up to max and stay there. Other times (more rarely) it will come on in a low fast flickering mode, then ramp down and then up to max and stay there.

I originally thought I had a faulty tailswitch but now think it’s to do with the internal tube – this may be either not making contact, or contacting both the driver and the retaining ring at once. Sometimes hitting the head on something will make it work as it should for a short while, but it always seems to end up with the same issues again soon afterwards.

I’ve tried re-orienting the driver in the head a few times. I can see the flat notch on the circuit board, but I can’t find anywhere that matches up to this in the inside of the head so I’m not sure there is a ‘correct’ orientation for this. Does anyone know if this has been changed for the FW1A? The driver does seem to move slightly (<1mm) during tightening the retaining ring or during use, so I’m not sure it is properly seated.

Can anyone recommend any other things I should be trying to get this working, or will I have to send it back?

hank
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I think my original type tailswitch occasionally double-click bounces, giving me an unpredictable number of clicks and going into the wrong mode.
I’ve had way too many occasions of ending up in some unwanted mode and having to figure the darned thing out yet again.

So:

Asking more about the new-design tailcap — is it available, is it lego-able to the original tube, and is its switch reliable?

08CivicSi
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RedForest UK wrote:
I recently bought an FW1A to see what all the fuss was about.

Unfortunately the one I got seems to have quite serious issues. I’ve spent a few hours trying the solutions mentioned in this and other threads, but I just can’t get it to work consistently.

Where the problem is now is that during tightening the head it will flash to show contact, but when fully tightened not respond to the switch or do anything at all. Sometimes it will instead treat it as if the switch is in a locked-on position and ramp up to max and stay there. Other times (more rarely) it will come on in a low fast flickering mode, then ramp down and then up to max and stay there.

I originally thought I had a faulty tailswitch but now think it’s to do with the internal tube – this may be either not making contact, or contacting both the driver and the retaining ring at once. Sometimes hitting the head on something will make it work as it should for a short while, but it always seems to end up with the same issues again soon afterwards.

I’ve tried re-orienting the driver in the head a few times. I can see the flat notch on the circuit board, but I can’t find anywhere that matches up to this in the inside of the head so I’m not sure there is a ‘correct’ orientation for this. Does anyone know if this has been changed for the FW1A? The driver does seem to move slightly (<1mm) during tightening the retaining ring or during use, so I’m not sure it is properly seated.

Can anyone recommend any other things I should be trying to get this working, or will I have to send it back?

Check continuity of the black tube. Some others have used sandpaper to make sure the tube has bare metal on each end.

RedForest UK
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08CivicSi wrote:
Check continuity of the black tube. Some others have used sandpaper to make sure the tube has bare metal on each end.

Thanks, I gave each end a light brushing with very fine grit. This has helped insofar as the light now consistently behaves as if the switch is always on, instead of sometimes stuck on and sometimes stuck off. There must still be something else to fix get it working properly though.

wle
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your switch may be misassembled
esp if you took the tail cap off
see other posts for the ‘nubbin’
it can fall off unnoticed, or be off center
would make the switch appear on all the time

wle

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xevious
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08CivicSi wrote:
Check continuity of the black tube. Some others have used sandpaper to make sure the tube has bare metal on each end.
Thanks for the tip. Just did it. I was having some slight flakiness if I didn’t tighten down thoroughly. Seems better. Kudos! Beer
RedForest UK
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wle wrote:
your switch may be misassembled
esp if you took the tail cap off
see other posts for the ‘nubbin’
it can fall off unnoticed, or be off center
would make the switch appear on all the time

wle

Ok, I’ve just tried this. The ‘nubbin’ seemed well seated and the metal plate centered well and all working ok physically. Unfortunately, after re-assembly the light is back to generally not switching on at all again, apart from the brief flash while the head is first screwed on.

strayz
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Still no Contact…

I will put it in the list of other failures of venders to think twice about dealing with. Email, messaging here, No replies.

Great concept, Poor execution of product and customer support. Yes I do understand that there is a limited number of people behind the scenes, but that is no excuse of leaving any customers out in the cold.

To those that come to the defense, it was poorly planned and executed hence 35+ pages of people having problems. Yes I am sour on this transaction with Neal.
JasonWW
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35 pages yes, that does not mean it’s tons of people having problems. In fact, most got it figured out. The rest do seem to be defects of some sort. A certain percentage of all products will have defects and manufacturers know this.

Also, this light is sold by Banggood, Lumintop and Neal. Not just Neal alone.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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JasonWW
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RedForest UK wrote:
wle wrote:
your switch may be misassembled
esp if you took the tail cap off
see other posts for the ‘nubbin’
it can fall off unnoticed, or be off center
would make the switch appear on all the time

wle

Ok, I’ve just tried this. The ‘nubbin’ seemed well seated and the metal plate centered well and all working ok physically. Unfortunately, after re-assembly the light is back to generally not switching on at all again, apart from the brief flash while the head is first screwed on.


It was your automatic ramping that seemed most worrying. That would indicate a short to ground somewhere in the driver, inner tube or switch area.

Since your issue seems quite tricky, I would suggest removing the head and battery and just testing the switch circuit. I show it here.

If we can get this part of the light working, then we can focus on the head. Make sure your clip is not preventing the tail from fully tightening down.

Oh yeah, please tell us what battery your using. Unprotected flat top I’m hoping. Button tops may or may not fit.

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JasonWW
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RedForest UK wrote:

I’ve tried re-orienting the driver in the head a few times. I can see the flat notch on the circuit board, but I can’t find anywhere that matches up to this in the inside of the head so I’m not sure there is a ‘correct’ orientation for this. Does anyone know if this has been changed for the FW1A? The driver does seem to move slightly (

Maybe this is the issue? The driver is not seated down into it’s groove?

Have you tried to gently rotate the driver to see if you can find the little notch to make it drop down into?

The groove on my FW3A is only about half as deep as the driver is thick, so it doesnt “fully” drop down flush, but it does lock into position.

I’m not very familiar with this particular model of light either but I think it uses the same basic head and driver design as the fw3a.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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xevious
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JasonWW wrote:
35 pages yes, that does not mean it’s tons of people having problems. In fact, most got it figured out. The rest do seem to be defects of some sort. A certain percentage of all products will have defects and manufacturers know this.

Also, this light is sold by Banggood, Lumintop and Neal. Not just Neal alone.

IMHO, the one HUGE problem in this whole endeavor was the cost cutting measure of NOT putting a ring in the tail cap so that it doesn’t fall apart when removed. That was just… not good judgement. The result was a huge number of problems. And now? Guess what—they’re now doing it, after all this.

I personally don’t have a problem with the unsecured tail cap parts. I always remove the front to change batteries & in fact, doing it from the battery side is a pain because it loosens the clip. So the encouragement to go from the front is the right idea.

RedForest UK
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I have tried rotating the driver and it didn’t seem to fall into any groove. It only had freedom to rotate less than 180 degrees though and I may have missed it – I didn’t remove it completely as this would have required desoldering the leads and I thought that would stop me from being allowed to return it if it does come to that.

Anyway, the continuity test with the tail section indicates that this is where the problem lies. Depending upon how tightly it is screwed down, and how it is assembled (whether I include the metal spacer between switch board and tailcap or not), continuity is made or is not. Clicking the switch doesn’t change anything in either situation.

I may just have a faulty switch.

JasonWW
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You can easily take the switch apart, just remove the tape. Maybe you have some oxidation or something under the dome.

I’m not sure what you mean by the metal spacer between switch board and tailcap.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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RedForest UK
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I’ve tried taking the switch apart already, and couldn’t see any sign of oxidization either on or under the dome – I really can’t work out what the problem is there.

The spacer is a slightly bent flat ring that was seated between the switch board and the rubber boot with the ‘nubbin’ in. I haven’t seen any sign of one in the FW3A dissassembly videos so perhaps it’s a new addition?

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I wonder if we can get more resistance in the switch by taking off the spring-steel dome on the switch and bending the 3 wings slightly inward.

middle age man
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I have an FW3A with the tail switch held in place by a retaining ring. It works only if the retaining ring is slightly loose; the Goldilocks position. If I tighten it all the way, it ramps to high and stays there – clicking the switch has no effect. If the retaining ring is too loose, it won’t switch on.

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Took my switch retaining ring out along with the Oring holding the clip from slipping. Left them out! Clip moves a little, but it doesn’t bother me as much as the switch not working Wink

Dimwitted

hank
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I wish we could get whoever does QA/QC at the manufacturers’ site online here to talk about what to look for where.
Stuff gets by them that ought to be resolved by attention early on in the production line.

middle age man
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Another post commented the FWxx design requires especially high tolerances. Perhaps they are higher than Lumintop, or most flashlight manufacturers, can consistently achieve.

hank
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Quote:
the FWxx design requires especially high tolerances

And we’re hardly the most tolerant QCQA bunch, now are we?

JasonWW
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middle age man wrote:
I have an FW3A with the tail switch held in place by a retaining ring. It works only if the retaining ring is slightly loose; the Goldilocks position. If I tighten it all the way, it ramps to high and stays there – clicking the switch has no effect. If the retaining ring is too loose, it won’t switch on.

Is the edge of the rubber piece neatly fitting down in its groove?

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JasonWW
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hank wrote:
I wish we could get whoever does QA/QC at the manufacturers’ site online here to talk about what to look for where.
Stuff gets by them that ought to be resolved by attention early on in the production line.

They test the prototypes, but after that they may only test some random lights coming off the assembly line (my guess). They definitely don’t test each light, if that’s what your thinking. The person doing the testing probably doesn’t speak English so it would be very difficult to ask anything.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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I am in need of a couple of the white o-rings that sit above the pocket clip, 1 is broken and another is close. Is there a source for them? I really do not like it when the clip spins and the tailcap is tight.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

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mattlward wrote:
I am in need of a couple of the white o-rings that sit above the pocket clip, 1 is broken and another is close. Is there a source for them? I really do not like it when the clip spins and the tailcap is tight.

I’ve also had a couple of those white o-rings break. Managed to find a replacement black o-ring among my miscellaneous supplies that fit. But I agree it would be good to make replacements available.
JasonWW
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O-rings are not special, try your local hardware store or maybe ebay. Maybe even a rubber band.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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mattlward
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JasonWW wrote:
O-rings are not special, try your local hardware store or maybe ebay. Maybe even a rubber band.

Are you sure about that little white one? None of my assortments even get close to an band diameter that small.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

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