FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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cabfrank
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Nice!

gottobegeek
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Just wondering what mods need to be made to accept a protected cell, and or if it is advisable.

g

teacher
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wfp wrote:

Firelight2</p> <p>teacher


It was the retaining ring. It “looked” like it was tight but apparently not. A couple of twists of the ring and I am now good to go. Cheers!

Good… glad to hear your up & going!! Thumbs Up

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JasonWW
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gottobegeek wrote:
Just wondering what mods need to be made to accept a protected cell, and or if it is advisable.

The battery tube and inner tube is too short for protected cells. So the only mods I can think if are to extend both of them the exact same amount. This is pretty hard to do.

Maybe you could find or mod a protected 18650 to have a very short length. Like 67mm.

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JasonWW
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ttylamg wrote:
I can’t get my light out of lockout, I tried 4 clicks and also tried 6 clicks. All it does is moonlight no matter what… do I have a defective board?

Never mind, I reset it by removing the battery… I thought loosen head was enough, apparently not.


Both ends of the battery tube have unanodized threads so you either have to seperate the head or maybe unscrew the head far enough that the battery springs loose contact. Unscrewing just a little may or may not cut power.

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JasonWW
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idleprocess wrote:
I got through thermal config OK (Light thought it was 45C in a 28C room – LOL) with the visual guide. But I thought I had done something weird with the ramp config veiling – was disturbingly dim after setting the levels and steps for stepped ramp!

Make sure the light has fully cooled down internally before setting the ambient temperature.
If it thought it was 45° and the step down is also 45° it may not even allow more than 150 lumen. That’s no good. Lol

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maukka
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djozz wrote:
Can’t find it back but it was mentioned before: in muggle mode my FW3A does a completely needless stepdown from highest to lowest after a minute or so, sometimes faster sometimes not at all.

Yes, it’s a bug, mine does the same. Even when testing back to back, sometimes it steps down in a couple of seconds, but after ramping it back up, it doesn’t do it. Now it’s been running for 15 minutes without stepping down from muggle ramp max and the surface temp is 42°C. Output has only dropped 5%.

edit: stepped down now after 16 minutes.

hcanning
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Out of interest, in regards to the thermal configuration, what would be a maximum sensible temperature to set the step-down at, to avoid damaging the light itself?

djozz
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hcanning wrote:
Out of interest, in regards to the thermal configuration, what would be a maximum sensible temperature to set the step-down at, to avoid damaging the light itself?

There’s a few thresholds that you can choose:

Most electronics, including the led, can function above 200degC.
But when Pb/Sn solder is used, the unsolder temperature of all that stuff is about 180degC.
Li-ion batteries can go wrong above 150degC (although high current IMR-type batteries can withstand higher)
But for them to live long and happy lives you should keep them below 80degC.
Your hands however feel pain above 55degC.
And they still feel comfortable below 50degC.

hcanning
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Thanks djozz, that’s some useful info there!

7pot
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Something’s wrong with my new FW3A Sad

As soon as I insert a battery, the light goes on. I can’t switch it off, the switch erratically changes brightness and modes.

I don’t think it’s related to the battery tube or the switch itself. If I connect a battery directly to the head (+ to the spring, – to the threads) it also comes on immediately.

Anybody experienced a similar behavior? What could be the reason for it?

Kame Sennin
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ttylamg wrote:
I can’t get my light out of lockout, I tried 4 clicks and also tried 6 clicks. All it does is moonlight no matter what... do I have a defective board? Never mind, I reset it by removing the battery... I thought loosen head was enough apparently not.

Looks like you clicked 5 times instead of 4 so now the light is locked in momentary mode, what you have to do is to remove the head (only way to get out of the momentary mode is to remove power) and take it back, that should take you back to normal mode.

Please don't ask how i know innocent

Nev
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maukka wrote:
djozz wrote:
Can’t find it back but it was mentioned before: in muggle mode my FW3A does a completely needless stepdown from highest to lowest after a minute or so, sometimes faster sometimes not at all.

Yes, it’s a bug, mine does the same. Even when testing back to back, sometimes it steps down in a couple of seconds, but after ramping it back up, it doesn’t do it. Now it’s been running for 15 minutes without stepping down from muggle ramp max and the surface temp is 42°C. Output has only dropped 5%.

edit: stepped down now after 16 minutes.


Mine did it but not now ,but I’m wondering If it was because I was playing with it on turbo before I switched to muggles.
mortuus
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ahh i was hoping mine would arrive this week but guess not Sad

14 May 2019

Shipment en route

Sweden

4:31 PM

At sorting center

2:19 PM

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JasonWW
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7pot wrote:
Something’s wrong with my new FW3A Sad

As soon as I insert a battery, the light goes on. I can’t switch it off, the switch erratically changes brightness and modes.

I don’t think it’s related to the battery tube or the switch itself. If I connect a battery directly to the head (+ to the spring, – to the threads) it also comes on immediately.

Anybody experienced a similar behavior? What could be the reason for it?


Hmmm, that really is odd. So it doesn’t immediately go to turbo and stay there? It actually ramps up and down and switches modes on it’s own?

My guess would be there is something shorting the driver circuits. Maybe a stray sliver of aluminum or something. You might try pulling the driver out and run a brush or compressed air over the tiny components.

I assume you checked to see if the driver was flat and that the notches line up, then make sure the retaining ring is tight.

I’ve never heard of a light acting like this.

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M3CSL
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I have seen erratic behavior on lights before, and it was almost always dirty threads. Maybe you could try cleaning the light, as just stated before.

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7pot
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JasonWW wrote:
7pot wrote:
Something's wrong with my new FW3A Sad As soon as I insert a battery, the light goes on. I can't switch it off, the switch erratically changes brightness and modes. I don't think it's related to the battery tube or the switch itself. If I connect a battery directly to the head (+ to the spring, - to the threads) it also comes on immediately. Anybody experienced a similar behavior? What could be the reason for it?
Hmmm, that really is odd. So it doesn't immediately go to turbo and stay there? It actually ramps up and down and switches modes on it's own? My guess would be there is something shorting the driver circuits. Maybe a stray sliver of aluminum or something. You might try pulling the driver out and run a brush or compressed air over the tiny components. I assume you checked to see if the driver was flat and that the notches line up, then make sure the retaining ring is tight. I've never heard of a light acting like this.
No, it does not go to turbo. When holding the switch, it goes to different levels in steps, stays at the brightest. After that, it step-ramps down if i release the switch and hold it again. The driver is flat, however the notches do not align perfectly, so maybe there is a short between the case and the driver? !https://imgur.com/hGfXgIm! In order to pull out the driver, I assume I have to desolder the wires at the front, right?

 

No, it does not go to turbo. When holding the switch, it goes to different levels in steps, stays at the brightest. After that, it step-ramps down if i release the switch and hold it again. The driver is flat, however the notches do not align perfectly, so maybe there is a short between the case and the driver?

In order to pull out the driver, I assume I have to desolder the wires at the front, right?

7pot
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M3CSL wrote:
I have seen erratic behavior on lights before, and it was almost always dirty threads. Maybe you could try cleaning the light, as just stated before.

I don’t think it’s dirty threads as it also happens when I directly connect the battery to the spring and case. I don’t see how the threads could be involved.

JasonWW
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7pot wrote:

JasonWW wrote:
7pot wrote:
Something’s wrong with my new FW3A Sad As soon as I insert a battery, the light goes on. I can’t switch it off, the switch erratically changes brightness and modes. I don’t think it’s related to the battery tube or the switch itself. If I connect a battery directly to the head (+ to the spring, – to the threads) it also comes on immediately. Anybody experienced a similar behavior? What could be the reason for it?
Hmmm, that really is odd. So it doesn’t immediately go to turbo and stay there? It actually ramps up and down and switches modes on it’s own? My guess would be there is something shorting the driver circuits. Maybe a stray sliver of aluminum or something. You might try pulling the driver out and run a brush or compressed air over the tiny components. I assume you checked to see if the driver was flat and that the notches line up, then make sure the retaining ring is tight. I’ve never heard of a light acting like this.

No, it does not go to turbo. When holding the switch, it goes to different levels in steps, stays at the brightest. After that, it step-ramps down if i release the switch and hold it again.


What your describing sounds like proper normal function. It ramps up when you hold the button, release and press again and it goes back down.

Are you confused that it goes in steps instead of the smooth ramp? To switch from stepped ramping to smooth ramping turn the light on and do 3 fast clicks.

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7pot
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JasonWW wrote:
7pot wrote:

JasonWW wrote:
7pot wrote:
Something’s wrong with my new FW3A Sad As soon as I insert a battery, the light goes on. I can’t switch it off, the switch erratically changes brightness and modes. I don’t think it’s related to the battery tube or the switch itself. If I connect a battery directly to the head (+ to the spring, – to the threads) it also comes on immediately. Anybody experienced a similar behavior? What could be the reason for it?
Hmmm, that really is odd. So it doesn’t immediately go to turbo and stay there? It actually ramps up and down and switches modes on it’s own? My guess would be there is something shorting the driver circuits. Maybe a stray sliver of aluminum or something. You might try pulling the driver out and run a brush or compressed air over the tiny components. I assume you checked to see if the driver was flat and that the notches line up, then make sure the retaining ring is tight. I’ve never heard of a light acting like this.

No, it does not go to turbo. When holding the switch, it goes to different levels in steps, stays at the brightest. After that, it step-ramps down if i release the switch and hold it again.


What your describing sounds like proper normal function. It ramps up when you hold the button, release and press again and it goes back down.

Are you confused that it goes in steps instead of the smooth ramp? To switch from stepped ramping to smooth ramping turn the light on and do 3 fast clicks.

Well, it turns on immediately when inserting the battery and tightening. And I can’t turn it off. It acts like a twisty.

I have pulled out the driver and cleaned it. Re-inserted it taking care of the notch. Same result :-(.

I am clueless. Somehow, the MCU must be working as it’s doing something when pressing the button. The button must also be working. It almost looks like (on of the) 7135 are permanently working so there might be a short somewhere?

Kame Sennin
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My two cents

Quote:

What you describe sounds like the driver "think" that the switch is always pressed. I don't know the driver schematic but from what i imagine there are several things that might go wrong beside the tube position, the general direction would be to find anything shorting the switch input of the MCU to ground :

  • The switch in the tail might be defective or shorted (fillings, solder splash, ...)
  • There might be some metal fillings between the tube and the torch body scratching the anodization and shorting them
  • There might be something on the driver board shorting the pcb track to ground (once again : fillings, solder splash, ...)
  • The pull-up resistor at the mcu input (if there is one) might be missing, broken or have a bad solder
  • The MCU input pin solder might be bad (i don't know if there an internal pull-up)

Removing the tube from the body would help to find on what side is the problem (if the torch is still ramping up then it's on driver side) but installing everything without the tube may be tricky.

An other test would be to remove the head and battery and test with an ohmmeter between the body and end of tube (should high res with switch still and near 0 ohm with switch pressed)

 

xevious
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Try unscrewing the head and tail cap, screw in the tail cap nice & tight, insert battery, then screw in the head nice and tight. Or try the reverse of doing the head first, then tail. Of course, just be careful of the tail cap as the switch board and button will fall out (not secured in place at all).

I had a similar flaky operation before I did this. Now my FW3A is working great.

7pot
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Kame Sennin wrote:

My two cents


Quote:

What you describe sounds like the driver “think” that the switch is always pressed. I don’t know the driver schematic but from what i imagine there are several things that might go wrong beside the tube position, the general direction would be to find anything shorting the switch input of the MCU to ground :



  • The switch in the tail might be defective or shorted (fillings, solder splash, …)

  • There might be some metal fillings between the tube and the torch body scratching the anodization and shorting them

  • There might be something on the driver board shorting the pcb track to ground (once again : fillings, solder splash, …)

  • The pull-up resistor at the mcu input (if there is one) might be missing, broken or have a bad solder

  • The MCU input pin solder might be bad (i don’t know if there an internal pull-up)


Removing the tube from the body would help to find on what side is the problem (if the torch is still ramping up then it’s on driver side) but installing everything without the tube may be tricky.


An other test would be to remove the head and battery and test with an ohmmeter between the body and end of tube (should high res with switch still and near 0 ohm with switch pressed)



 

These are excellent points!


However it’s happening with the head only when connecting + to the spring and – to the body. So that would narrow it down to the driver board. I desoldered the star, the driver board looks good. Hard to debug though.

7pot
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xevious wrote:
Try unscrewing the head and tail cap, screw in the tail cap nice & tight, insert battery, then screw in the head nice and tight. Or try the reverse of doing the head first, then tail. Of course, just be careful of the tail cap as the switch board and button will fall out (not secured in place at all).

I had a similar flaky operation before I did this. Now my FW3A is working great.

Tried this several times, turns on immediately. Even when directly connecting the battery to the head.

xevious
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7pot wrote:
xevious wrote:
Try unscrewing the head and tail cap, screw in the tail cap nice & tight, insert battery, then screw in the head nice and tight. Or try the reverse of doing the head first, then tail. Of course, just be careful of the tail cap as the switch board and button will fall out (not secured in place at all).

I had a similar flaky operation before I did this. Now my FW3A is working great.

Tried this several times, turns on immediately. Even when directly connecting the battery to the head.


Yeah, in reading what you posted about a moment ago, it does sound like there’s some kind of electronic defect going on with your driver board. Probably too expensive to mail back, unfortunately.
Firelight2
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If your light is acting like a twisty, check your driver retaining ring and make sure it’s tight. That could also be the problem.

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In order to turn the light on directly, the retaining ring would have to be making contact with the signal ring on the driver, they should be 2 different circuits right?

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My FW3A started ramping up and down as soon as power was connected when it arrived too, I tightened the driver ring, pulled the inner tube out and made sure it was clean and reassembled the switch assembly. Problems cleared right up.

idleprocess
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JasonWW wrote:
idleprocess wrote:
I got through thermal config OK (Light thought it was 45C in a 28C room – LOL) with the visual guide. But I thought I had done something weird with the ramp config veiling – was disturbingly dim after setting the levels and steps for stepped ramp!

Make sure the light has fully cooled down internally before setting the ambient temperature.
If it thought it was 45° and the step down is also 45° it may not even allow more than 150 lumen. That’s no good. Lol

Oh sure – it had been sitting on the desk indoors for a good 30 minutes when I set it with a thermometer nearby.
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7pot wrote:
Something’s wrong with my new FW3A Sad

As soon as I insert a battery, the light goes on. I can’t switch it off, the switch erratically changes brightness and modes.

I don’t think it’s related to the battery tube or the switch itself. If I connect a battery directly to the head (+ to the spring, – to the threads) it also comes on immediately.

Anybody experienced a similar behavior? What could be the reason for it?

If one of the amc7135 chips is dead, it could cause behavior like that. Those chips fail open, meaning they allow current to pass through… so it would be always on. But the other chips would still work, so it could still sort of function.

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