FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

1193 posts / 0 new
Last post
Wyre
Wyre's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 05/04/2017 - 06:18
Posts: 30
Location: Deep in the Ozarks, USA

I followed these directions and now the lamp comes on with a rapid seizure inducing bright flash, and wont turn off without removing the battery. At least it is a different response.

EDIT:

Since I figured that there had to be something going on in the tail, I carefully disassembled the tail switch, and found it full of some kind of grey grit. Carefully cleaned the switch out, and reassembled the switch into the tail – took a couple of tries, but the lamp now appears to be working – however it is stuck in step mode.

EDIT 2:

Reset, everything is now working as expected.

steel_1024
steel_1024's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 11 min ago
Joined: 10/17/2016 - 14:06
Posts: 486
Location: Taiwan

First
There may be a short circuit somewhere
You can try to loosen the drive pressure ring
Adjust the position of the drive

Sorry for my poor english.

bansuri
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2017 - 23:43
Posts: 442
Location: Land of Lincoln

I think it is the issues we will see in this thread that drove Liteflux out of business.
It’s easy to make the electrical connection in a twisty, but once you add a clicky there is trouble.
The FW3A takes the idea of a clicky one step higher, that second signal you have to send from the tail to the driver is painfully difficult.
The good news is that if you weren’t mechanically inclined this will be a great primer.
The better news is that once you’ve got everything snugged down and you understand all the points of failure it will be no big deal.
HDS solved the problem but their implementation adds some thickness to the body tube and there may be patent issues and they cost way more.
There is a product called DeOxit or similar that might be applied to the connections in the tail before assembly. Supposed to remove and prevent oxidation.
I’m SURE some of the crafty folks on BLF have a budget formulation that does just as good.
(just searched “deoxit” on BLF and oh boy, there’s a lot)

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 39 min 28 sec ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3735
Location: California

Liteflux and the FW3A use virtually the same method of connecting the electronic switch: An inner tube insulated from the outer tube serves as the electrical contact. However, the FW3A relies on anodizing for insulation while Liteflux used a separate plastic tube between the inner and outer tubes.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1480
Location: atlanta ga
Xavier Blak wrote:
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.

this is going to be annoying

so if you follow these instructions, you have to remove the head to take the battery out?

wle

========
"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
========
It never gets easy, you just go faster.

--Greg Lemond.
========
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
              __o
    __o     _`\<,_      __o
  _`\<,_   (*)/ (*)   _`\<,_
 (*)/ (*)            (*)/ (*)
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
========

bansuri
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2017 - 23:43
Posts: 442
Location: Land of Lincoln
Firelight2 wrote:
Liteflux and the FW3A use virtually the same method of connecting the electronic switch: An inner tube insulated from the outer tube serves as the electrical contact. However, the FW3A relies on anodizing for insulation while Liteflux used a separate plastic tube between the inner and outer tubes.

I’ve owned many Liteflux and the insulation was never a problem. It was always the points of conduction; the end of the tubes. These have just barely started selling and this issue is showing up. There will be a tsunami of users who have malfunctioning lights. A local BLF member texted me with issues on the very day his light arrived, random turn-on, no button control, etc. Not what most people expect from a new light. What happened to him will happen to many.
No need to defend the design, it’s just problematic and folks will have to learn how to take it apart. They will be better for it.
This is definitely not a light for first responders or any mission critical applications, but if you’re not afraid to crack it open it should be a great EDC.
The local member I mentioned fixed his by loosening and tightening tail cap.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1480
Location: atlanta ga

can you just polish the tube ends, where they are supposed to make contact, and BDWI (be done with it)?

it sounds like there are 2 conductors, that have to traverse 2 connection points, right?

there is a tail, a middle, and a head section, so the tubes touch at 2 places..?

side question, is there any chance of an 18350-length middle tube, like the BLF-A6?

wle

========
"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
========
It never gets easy, you just go faster.

--Greg Lemond.
========
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
              __o
    __o     _`\<,_      __o
  _`\<,_   (*)/ (*)   _`\<,_
 (*)/ (*)            (*)/ (*)
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
========

bansuri
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2017 - 23:43
Posts: 442
Location: Land of Lincoln

WLE, I have complete confidence that BLF will crack the code that Liteflux could not.
Liteflux was considered a boutique brand and I don’t think they sold as many as the FW3A will. Also I think the very nature of the users and the support forum is completely different.
There are some very serious brainiacs here and I doubt this issue will go unsolved.
I haven’t received mine yet so I can’t investigate any fixes or best practices yet, but will post anything once I get mine and can check them out.
The local member I mentioned had very positive things to say about the beam and tint.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1480
Location: atlanta ga

i am slated for mine to come tomorrrow or next day

i’m a banzai fixer too, though I sort of hope mine ‘just works’

i had issues like with the DQG tiny and others, so i know about troubleshooting this kind of thing

the annoying thing is, it is a simple circuit but you cannot observe anything directly – it all happens in the sealed light, and you can;t measure voltages and currrents under real conditions, all you can do is hypothesize and test

so far we have seen tube contact, heat sink compound and driver looseness all as problems

wle

========
"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
========
It never gets easy, you just go faster.

--Greg Lemond.
========
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
              __o
    __o     _`\<,_      __o
  _`\<,_   (*)/ (*)   _`\<,_
 (*)/ (*)            (*)/ (*)
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
========

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 min 47 sec ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 11884
Location: Houston Texas

To be honest, has the heatsink compound caused any problems? No, it’s there and it works.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links.

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Online
Last seen: 5 min 38 sec ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10104
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3
FW3A thread, many times wrote:
install the battery from the head, not the tail
wle wrote:
can you make a new posting? i;ve quit reading this one… thx wle
FW3A FAQ threads wrote:
Install battery from the head, positive to driver. DO NOT REMOVE TAILCAP
wle wrote:
i quit actually reading it about 2 years ago
FW3A manual wrote:
Quick Start: Unscrew the front half from the back half and insert the battery (the tail isn’t meant to be disassembled)
wle wrote:
so if you follow these instructions, you have to remove the head to take the battery out?
illustrated card in FW3A box wrote:

We’ve tried to make this message hard to miss… but with enough determination, it can still be done.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 13457
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

Don't you have to remove the tailcap to take off the clip?

saypat
saypat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 07/13/2011 - 20:32
Posts: 3552
Location: Calif

good point raccoon – I don’t want a clip on mine.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 13457
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

Yeah, I never use clips on my flashlights.

teacher
teacher's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 5 days ago
Joined: 02/23/2016 - 19:04
Posts: 9596
Location: NE & SW Alabama

Yes, if you are going to take off the clip you must remove the tailcap to do so. That is aboit the only reason you have to remove the tailcap.

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 

 

                                             

scout24
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2012 - 20:33
Posts: 13

Okay, I’ll ask a silly question. In ramping mode, if I start out at moonlight and ramp up, there are two “blips”. I’m used to seeing one, as in my GT Micro and my Emisar lights. My understanding is on those lights, the blip is the end (ramping upwards) of regulated output 7135 light, and getting into where the FET takes over. I assume on this light, that’s the higher blip. So, what’s the lower one? Thanks in advance…

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 min 47 sec ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 11884
Location: Houston Texas

scout24 wrote:
Okay, I’ll ask a silly question. In ramping mode, if I start out at moonlight and ramp up, there are two “blips”. I’m used to seeing one, as in my GT Micro and my Emisar lights. My understanding is on those lights, the blip is the end (ramping upwards) of regulated output 7135 light, and getting into where the FET takes over. I assume on this light, that’s the higher blip. So, what’s the lower one? Thanks in advance…

The lower blip is where it transitions from the single 7135 to the 7 × 7135 (about 125-130 lumen). In other words, when you ramp up from moonlight the first blip shows the transition between channel 1 and channel 2 and then the higher blip shows the transition between channel 2 and channel 3 (the FET).

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links.

xevious
xevious's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 25 min ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 1085
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

JasonWW wrote:
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.

When I first fired mine up (after inserting the battery by removing the head, per instructions), it wouldn’t stay on. I’d just get a flash. I loosened and tightened the tail cap and then it started to work. But when I went to max output, it would flash and shut off. I loosened/tightened the tail cap once more and now it seems OK. Would it be a good idea to take off the tail cap and clean everything? I’m just a little concerned about possibly making things worse…
wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1480
Location: atlanta ga

don;t lose your nudgie, noodle, nuffin, whatever it;s called! ( i mean if you take the tail apart… )

that little black button

========
"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
========
It never gets easy, you just go faster.

--Greg Lemond.
========
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
              __o
    __o     _`\<,_      __o
  _`\<,_   (*)/ (*)   _`\<,_
 (*)/ (*)            (*)/ (*)
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
========

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1480
Location: atlanta ga

so i got mine
so far everything seems to be working
i did have to make sure it was all tight though

it flaked a couple times, to low intensity high speed unalterable strobe, tightened head and tail, it got fixed

and i burned a black shirt, when the light was close and it inadvertently got into turbo somehow

question, it says party strobe speed can be altered, but i can;t see that it does anything different on a ceiling fan..?

wle

========
"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
========
It never gets easy, you just go faster.

--Greg Lemond.
========
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
              __o
    __o     _`\<,_      __o
  _`\<,_   (*)/ (*)   _`\<,_
 (*)/ (*)            (*)/ (*)
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
========

bansuri
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2017 - 23:43
Posts: 442
Location: Land of Lincoln

WLE, funny you should mention that! I used it to show the kids how the frequency of flashing light can “change” the speed of a fan.
While in party strobe click/hold for faster, click click/hold for slower.
(Used the D4 running Andúril, Fw3A should be the same. Haven’t got mine yet :(. )

amars7
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 05/13/2018 - 23:51
Posts: 57
Location: Western U.S.

Literally just got mine out of the mailbox. When ramping up above the hybrid mode, the light just turns off. Direct to turbo works okay, ramping down from turbo works okay, but ramping up in either stepped or smooth ramp causes the light to simply go off. Any ideas?

MyRants
MyRants's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 02/02/2019 - 20:07
Posts: 115
Location: Seattle, WA

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.

Mine did this after I removed the tailcap in order to lube the o-ring and threads.  Following Toykeeper's tightening procedure and tightening a lot (very tight) it began to work correctly again.

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. -- Mark Twain

xevious
xevious's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 25 min ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 1085
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

Sorry if I’m being an idiot and missed it, but what’s the recommended thermal ceiling for the FW3A? In the UI, is the base 30C and then you just add a click for each degree C on top of that?

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12402
Location: LI NY

xevious wrote:
Sorry if I'm being an idiot and missed it, but what's the recommended thermal ceiling for the FW3A? In the UI, is the base 30C and then you just add a click for each degree C on top of that?

Yes, but first blink setting is for the current temp, 2nd for setting the ceiling that starts at 30C.

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Online
Last seen: 5 min 38 sec ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10104
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3

Also, this isn’t totally recommended, but as a shortcut for getting a usable thermal config, it should work pretty well if you click only once at each thermal config menu option.

This tells it the current temperature is 1 C, and the ceiling is 31 C. But if the light is actually at room temperature, the effect is mostly the same as if you clicked 20 times at each option (for 20 C calbration and 50 C limit). The only significant difference is that the temperature check mode will give the wrong values.

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12402
Location: LI NY

I carried mine in my jeans pocket, clipped. Later in the day noticed it was on in my pocket, and in 7 levels mode. The jeans are stiff ones, and think'n from sitting/moving, the switch could have engaged from fold of the pants. My lean mean body doesn't look good in tight jeans, for some reason... Ok, maybe I'm not so lean but I am mean! frown

That 1/4 or 1/8 turn at the head is bout a perfect lockout, for the switch that is, and that's all you really need is to disable the switch, so my "issue" has an easy solution!

I do carry other e-switch EDC's the same way - clipped. I found if I align the clip with the switch (switch still clears it), the switch is held to the outside and doesn't seem to get accidental activations, even for a ZY-T11 clone using this deep pocket clip with a soft bulging switch, clip not shown here:

That clip fits the ZY-T11's bout perfect, little loose but good for my usage.

xevious
xevious's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 25 min ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 1085
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

Tom E wrote:

Yes, but first blink setting is for the current temp, 2nd for setting the ceiling that starts at 30C.


Yep, figured that out — but thanks for confirming.
ToyKeeper wrote:
Also, this isn’t totally recommended, but as a shortcut for getting a usable thermal config, it should work pretty well if you click only once at each thermal config menu option.

This tells it the current temperature is 1 C, and the ceiling is 31 C. But if the light is actually at room temperature, the effect is mostly the same as if you clicked 20 times at each option (for 20 C calbration and 50 C limit). The only significant difference is that the temperature check mode will give the wrong values.


Great — that’s terrific info (should be in 1st post, FWIW). I do like getting accurate temp reading, so I do 20 clicks (room temp @ 70). So I’ll do 1 click for ceiling. Beer
Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12402
Location: LI NY

Some deep pocket clipped lights:

 

More comparative shots with the FW3A

Small 18650 (21700 for the PL47):

Couple AA size lights:

M4D M4X
M4D M4X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 32 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2014 - 05:17
Posts: 7809
Location: Austria (GMT + 1)

xevious wrote:
Great -- that's terrific info (should be in 1st post, FWIW). I do like getting accurate temp reading, so I do 20 clicks (room temp @ 70). So I'll do 1 click for ceiling. :BEER:

 

Sorry - you are wrong! 

 1 click at both settings ensures a 30° difference

your example lowers to 10° difference only! 

 

already member of M4DM4X.com ?

the best deals are waiting for YOU!

BIG THANKS for helping me by using my REFLinks

before you buy elsewhere mail me: MARTIN@M4DM4X.COM - i will try to save you money!

Pages