FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

1329 posts / 0 new
Last post
Whyaskus
Whyaskus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 14 hours ago
Joined: 12/27/2019 - 11:22
Posts: 17
Location: Washington

By removing the head it resets the flashlight, I have cleaned the threads and tighten the tail cap then the head. Everything works fine. It’s almost like it’s in momentary mode and to get out you have to reset the light to get it back to normal, but in my case there is no visible light at all until I reset it.
It’s the titanium version

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas

It’s a strange issue. Maybe someone here can explain it.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

cujo255
cujo255's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 02/27/2017 - 15:39
Posts: 87
Location: Minnesota
rom wrote:
I had the same issue with my 18650 battery. Contrary to what for most helps, I had to loosen the inner tail retaining ring (which holds down the switch) around one turn (360°). Now the light works fine and very stable.

unfortunately mine is the first version of the FW3A that has no retaining ring in the tail, perhaps this is the cause of the issue that I am having.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 58 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8767
Location: Berkeley, California

Yeah, I also have the first version of the FW3A.
And I’m still getting intermittent problems like failure to turn on.
Remedied by removing the head from the body and replacing it, several times, eventually it lights up.
I’m afraid it’s like a firearm, has to be taken apart and cleaned after every use.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 2911
Location: Canuk in NM

Well, it seems like peoples experiences vary widely. We have two FW3A’s. One from the first batch I guess, as I ordered the same day it became available. Also one from a later batch; that one has the modified two level momentary when locked. Both have been completely acceptable. I’ve never had either not want to turn on, or be uncooperative in any manner. Both are carried as an EDC, by two different people. They are used a lot, e-locked a lot, carried in a pocket not on the clip.

Rayoui
Rayoui's picture
Offline
Last seen: 25 min 1 sec ago
Joined: 08/06/2019 - 00:38
Posts: 224
Location: Portland, OR
hank wrote:
Yeah, I also have the first version of the FW3A. And I’m still getting intermittent problems like failure to turn on. Remedied by removing the head from the body and replacing it, several times, eventually it lights up. I’m afraid it’s like a firearm, has to be taken apart and cleaned after every use.

I have six FWxx lights. I’ve only had an issue with one of them and it was as you described. If the head was loosened or removed and then replaced it would turn on. After a couple failures to turn on, I took off the head and checked the contact ring on the driver side and noticed some excess grease had worked its way in there. Wiped it off with some IPA and it’s been fine ever since.

Whyaskus
Whyaskus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 14 hours ago
Joined: 12/27/2019 - 11:22
Posts: 17
Location: Washington

I took out a white O-ring that was in between the tail cap and pocket clip and I have not experienced anymore problems with the light.

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas
cujo255 wrote:
rom wrote:
I had the same issue with my 18650 battery. Contrary to what for most helps, I had to loosen the inner tail retaining ring (which holds down the switch) around one turn (360°). Now the light works fine and very stable.

unfortunately mine is the first version of the FW3A that has no retaining ring in the tail, perhaps this is the cause of the issue that I am having.


No, the retaining ring was added just to prevent people from accidentally losing the little nub.

Have you tried a continuity test with the head removed just to see if the switch is working with the new 18350 body and inner tube?

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas

MtnDon wrote:
Well, it seems like peoples experiences vary widely. We have two FW3A’s. One from the first batch I guess, as I ordered the same day it became available. Also one from a later batch; that one has the modified two level momentary when locked. Both have been completely acceptable. I’ve never had either not want to turn on, or be uncooperative in any manner. Both are carried as an EDC, by two different people. They are used a lot, e-locked a lot, carried in a pocket not on the clip.

It is easy to start thinking all the lights are troublesome when you hear people say they have a problem on the troubleshooting thread. Just remember there are many hundred, maybe thousand?, FW3A lights sold, but only a few dozen have issues. It’s basically the same for all flashlights, cars, TV’s, etc… The percentage of defects or problems can be higher for some models compared to other models.

I’ve only have one early light and it acted funny at first until I figured out I have to loosen the head, then tighten the tail, then tighten the head. I’ve had zero issues since then.

I think this light might have a slightly higher percentage of issues compared to others simply due to the design with it’s tight tolerances.

So don’t let this thread trick you into thinking everyone is having problems. I try to think positive. Big Smile

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas

Whyaskus wrote:

I took out a white O-ring that was in between the tail cap and pocket clip and I have not experienced anymore problems with the light.


Ah, so your light is working now? Thumbs Up

This o-ring is only to prevent the clip from rotating. I wonder if it was preventing you from fully tightening the tail to the body and squeezing the inner tube contacts to the switch?

Maybe others should try this. It’s easy to do.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

richbuff
Offline
Last seen: 40 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 09/22/2015 - 20:38
Posts: 305
Location: Prescott Az

I just got mine in the mail this morning. I bought it for a few reasons:

1. I reviewed the "Vote for the Best Light of 2019" topic thread, and saw it scored super high.

2. Most compact, high power, single 18650 light.

3. I like this friendly and helpful forum community, so I thought I should add another nice budget light to my collection, so I can feel more fit in with this forum community. (I have Emisar, Imalent, Manker, Nightwatch and Noctigon lights that I like and love and am excited about very, very much)

4. This light is recommended by leading luminaries of the Flashlight World.

5. Cost is almost free.

6. Zero body prints.

7. No frills, simple yet elegant, attractive design.

8. No pesky magnet in the tailcap.

 

Mine arrived in, has been in, and is stuck in "box of chocolates" mode. There is no way of knowing in advance what is going to happen and/or not happen if I click once while off, click once while on, click and hold when off, click and hold while on, double click while on, or double click while off.

Because I am late to the FW3A party, I had plenty of time to review the troubleshooting tips and tricks.

I did not loosen and re tighten the tailcap, because it is beyond hand-tight out of the box.

I tried reset by removing the head and holding the button while re-connecting the head. Click four times  while on yields nothing. Click three times while off yields nothing.

At the moment: Click once from off to turn on = Nothing.

Double click from off = Sometimes turbo, sometimes medium power.

Double click from on = Turbo.

Press and hold from off = medium power, no ramping. I can not access any ramping nor any stepping function at all whatsoever.

Press and hold from on = Turn off. I can not access any ramping nor any stepping function at all whatsoever. 

I have been senior global moderator for more than a few years of the official forum of the worlds consistently highest independently rated premium anti virus company, so I know, as was mentioned a few or so posts above, that troubleshooting topic thread means only a very small percentage of users see any issues.

 I am all good/very happy with points 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 above, so I am happy to add this light to my collection.

 

 

Yes, it also has normal modes for normal runtime and normal heat generation.  Phil 1: 21-24 and 2Tim. 4: 6-8.

 

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas

richbuff wrote:

I did not loosen and re tighten the tailcap, because it is beyond hand-tight out of the box.



What battery are you using? Flat top?

You really do need to loosen head and tail. Tighten tail, then head.

Check that all retaining rings are tight.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

richbuff
Offline
Last seen: 40 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 09/22/2015 - 20:38
Posts: 305
Location: Prescott Az

JasonWW wrote:
richbuff wrote:

I did not loosen and re tighten the tailcap, because it is beyond hand-tight out of the box.

What battery are you using? Flat top? You really do need to loosen head and tail. Tighten tail, *then* head. Check that all retaining rings are tight.

Thank you for your reply.

I tried unprotected flat top purple Efest and LG 3500.

I will try that, after I think for a bit about the proper tools and protective media. Two vice grips and leather strap come to mind.

I don't have the tool for the driver retaining ring.

 

Yes, it also has normal modes for normal runtime and normal heat generation.  Phil 1: 21-24 and 2Tim. 4: 6-8.

 

JaredM
JaredM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 37 min ago
Joined: 10/31/2011 - 13:33
Posts: 852
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you shake the battery tube/tailcap assembly while separated from the head, are there any rattles?

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Online
Last seen: 12 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3869
Location: California

One suggestion:

I noticed later model FW3 series lights have a retaining ring in the tailcap. This is to prevent the switch guts from falling out of the light if the tailcap is removed.

However, I noticed in my FW3T that this ring is VERY finicky.

  • Screw it in too tight and it seems to hold the switch PCB at a very slight angle resulting in poor connection and a malfunctioning light.
  • Screw it in too loose and it prevents the tailcap from screwing in all the way and the light does not work at all or malfunctions.

If you’re having problems with your light, one place to start is to remove the tailcap and try loosening and/or tightening that tailcap retaining ring until it works properly. Alternatively, you can simply remove the tailcap retaining ring. It isn’t necessary if you open the light from the front like you should.

That said, I don’t think this advice will help Richbuff. The behavior he reported (like press-and-hold for off) seems like it would require firmware reprogramming.

richbuff
Offline
Last seen: 40 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 09/22/2015 - 20:38
Posts: 305
Location: Prescott Az

 Thanks guys. No rattling of head or body/tail. I don't want to put tools on it to loosen and then re tighten the tail.

Between driver, firmware and hardware, I can only guess.

Yes, it also has normal modes for normal runtime and normal heat generation.  Phil 1: 21-24 and 2Tim. 4: 6-8.

 

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Online
Last seen: 12 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3869
Location: California

Nothing is glued in the FW3A. Tools shouldn’t be necessary. If you want to remove the tailcap, just grip it really hard and turn. If you’re having trouble getting enough grip try using a piece of rubber or grip tape for added grip.

Note also that malfunctions in the tailcap of the FW3A never result in a rattling tailcap. The inner switch tube can be misaligned or touching the wrong thing at the back without any rattle whatsoever.

trakcon
trakcon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 33 min ago
Joined: 01/23/2019 - 15:50
Posts: 249
richbuff wrote:

 Thanks guys. No rattling of head or body/tail. I don’t want to put tools on it to loosen and then re tighten the tail.


Between driver, firmware and hardware, I can only guess.

Sometimes I wrap a rubber band around stuck parts to get a better grip without marring the finish. I’d bet the tail needs to be loosened or disassembled.

marcioccosta
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2019 - 20:43
Posts: 4
Location: Brazil

Broke my tail switch o’ring trying to remove the pocket clip and found out that the spare don’t fit. Brand new flashlight.

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas

marcioccosta wrote:
Broke my tail switch o’ring trying to remove the pocket clip and found out that the spare don’t fit. Brand new flashlight.

How does it not fit? Too thick?

It’s only job is anti rotation. Some people don’t even use them. I don’t use it in my light. You might try a local hardware store. If no luck, maybe ebay.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

marcioccosta
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2019 - 20:43
Posts: 4
Location: Brazil

I’m talking about the black o’ring for the water resistance. The one at the head is larger than the one at the tail. I can’t screw the tail cap enough.
Lumintop should send them as spare too. I’ll try at my local hardware store or online thanks!

edit: Now I’m thinking about put some silicone sealant. It will protect from water and prevent me from taking the tail cap out again.

Ryley
Ryley's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2012 - 12:37
Posts: 89
Location: 62
marcioccosta wrote:
Broke my tail switch o’ring trying to remove the pocket clip and found out that the spare don’t fit. Brand new flashlight.

Pocket clip oring size is 17mm x 1mm (thickness).

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas
Ryley wrote:
marcioccosta wrote:
Broke my tail switch o’ring trying to remove the pocket clip and found out that the spare don’t fit. Brand new flashlight.

Pocket clip oring size is 17mm x 1mm (thickness).


He’s talking about the battery tube o-ring at the tail.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

marcioccosta
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2019 - 20:43
Posts: 4
Location: Brazil
Ryley wrote:
marcioccosta wrote:
Broke my tail switch o’ring trying to remove the pocket clip and found out that the spare don’t fit. Brand new flashlight.

Pocket clip oring size is 17mm x 1mm (thickness).

Thanks I’ll order from Aliexpress.

marcioccosta
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2019 - 20:43
Posts: 4
Location: Brazil
JasonWW wrote:
Ryley wrote:
marcioccosta wrote:
Broke my tail switch o’ring trying to remove the pocket clip and found out that the spare don’t fit. Brand new flashlight.

Pocket clip oring size is 17mm x 1mm (thickness).


He’s talking about the battery tube o-ring at the tail.

I think he’s right. The thickness of the white one is a lot smaller than 1mm.

treellama
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 12/08/2018 - 21:20
Posts: 121
Location: Pittsburgh

Lumintop support told me the white O-ring is 16mm x 0.8mm.

vkor
vkor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 02/03/2020 - 06:34
Posts: 32
Location: 55°51'31.8"N 37°26'11.3"E

And what function does this rubber ring perform? Moisture protection? I spun off the shank and pulled out the tube with the rubber ring, then when I put everything in place, I couldn ‘t tighten the shank, the clip was almost free to rotate. I was only able to tighten the shank well after I removed this rubber ring. What did I do wrong?

JasonWW
JasonWW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 10/22/2016 - 11:41
Posts: 12392
Location: Houston Texas

vkor wrote:
And what function does this rubber ring perform? Moisture protection? I spun off the shank and pulled out the tube with the rubber ring, then when I put everything in place, I couldn ‘t tighten the shank, the clip was almost free to rotate. I was only able to tighten the shank well after I removed this rubber ring. What did I do wrong?

Which o-ring are you refering to?
If the one on the clip, it is for anti rotation as mentioned before. It can prevent full tightening of the tail cap on certain lights.

Moisture protection comes from the black o-ring near the threads.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

vkor
vkor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 02/03/2020 - 06:34
Posts: 32
Location: 55°51'31.8"N 37°26'11.3"E

I meant a white rubber on a black tube

captainkirk
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 24 sec ago
Joined: 01/28/2018 - 16:30
Posts: 25
Location: Texas

Helps to keep the tube from shorting against the body.

This space for let.

Pages