FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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JasonWW
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Seeker1 wrote:
Received 4 lights with batteries installed. Checked retaining rings and all were tight. One light would get stuck in the low level strobe and no other modes available when the switch was pressed. This was intermittent and only happened a few times.

Took time to investigate the problem today and I could create the problem by very slightly loosen the head.

I finally cleaned threads and lubed with nyogel. Now I could not create the problem again.

Did not clean contact pads on the board yet but all seems well for now.

Love these FW3A`s


This has been talked about. You need to tighten the tail first, then tighten the head.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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Seeker1
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Tail was tightened first very tight and problem still there. Somehow cleaning threads fixed and I could not recreate the problem by loosening the head very slightly as before.

Nev
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I’ve posted before about my fw3a stepping down to soon @40-50*C. , well I undid the bezel & took the optics out & noticed a discoloured led ,when the light is on moonlight it was showing a blue tinge , & I’ve been noticing it getting extremely hot to the touch whilst on turbo but also only reading 45*C when cold & about 54-55*C when warm when the thermal regulation turns the light down sharply ,now I have the optics off I can now see the FW smoking quite badly , I’ve emailed neal & told him. I thought I would take a video of it to show him & whilst I was videoing it I managed to catch it stop working ,it’s actually melted the solder on the black wire. Here’s the video  

 

 http://youtube.com/watch?v=MOXaQUa2t-4

 

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Nev wrote:

I’ve posted before about my fw3a stepping down to soon @40-50*C. , well I undid the bezel & took the optics out & noticed a discoloured led ,when the light is on moonlight it was showing a blue tinge , & I’ve been noticing it getting extremely hot to the touch whilst on turbo but also only reading 45*C when cold & about 54-55*C when warm when the thermal regulation turns the light down sharply ,now I have the optics off I can now see the FW smoking quite badly , I’ve emailed neal & told him. I thought I would take a video of it to show him & whilst I was videoing it I managed to catch it stop working ,it’s actually melted the solder on the black wire. Here’s the video  


 



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Nev
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So am I , I don’t know what I’m doing Facepalm

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Nev wrote:
So am I , I don’t know what I’m doing Facepalm

Change the video tag from
video:http://youtube.com/watch?v=https://youtu.be/MOXaQUa2t-4
to
video:http://youtube.com/watch?v=MOXaQUa2t-4

Nev
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Lagittaja wrote:
Nev wrote:
So am I , I don’t know what I’m doing Facepalm

Change the video tag from
video:http://youtube.com/watch?v=https://youtu.be/MOXaQUa2t-4
to
video:http://youtube.com/watch?v=MOXaQUa2t-4


I just did , thanks Thumbs Up
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No problem.

Regarding your flashlight: oof, that looks sketchy. Can you share a picture of the MCPCB?

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Nev wrote:

I’ve posted before about my fw3a stepping down to soon @40-50*C. , well I undid the bezel & took the optics out & noticed a discoloured led ,when the light is on moonlight it was showing a blue tinge , & I’ve been noticing it getting extremely hot to the touch whilst on turbo but also only reading 45*C when cold & about 54-55*C when warm when the thermal regulation turns the light down sharply ,now I have the optics off I can now see the FW smoking quite badly , I’ve emailed neal & told him. I thought I would take a video of it to show him & whilst I was videoing it I managed to catch it stop working ,it’s actually melted the solder on the black wire. Here’s the video

Was that ‘candlelight mode’ Nev??
.
.
.
.
.
Complete with smoke…… Facepalm
.
Something ain’t right for sure….. 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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BlueSwordM
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See, this is what happens when thermal paste application isn’t adequate.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

JasonWW
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Nev wrote:

I’ve posted before about my fw3a stepping down to soon @40-50*C. , well I undid the bezel & took the optics out & noticed a discoloured led ,when the light is on moonlight it was showing a blue tinge , & I’ve been noticing it getting extremely hot to the touch whilst on turbo but also only reading 45*C when cold & about 54-55*C when warm when the thermal regulation turns the light down sharply ,now I have the optics off I can now see the FW smoking quite badly , I’ve emailed neal & told him. I thought I would take a video of it to show him & whilst I was videoing it I managed to catch it stop working ,it’s actually melted the solder on the black wire. Here’s the video  


 


 http://youtube.com/watch?v=MOXaQUa2t-4


 


Factory step down temp is 45°C.

On turbo it will get very hot, very fast. Mine steps down after 15 seconds with a 30Q. It stepped down after 12 seconds when the stock ambient calibration was off.

You never want to run a light (any light) at high power with nothing pressing the mcpcb to the head. The pressure is needed to transfer the heat and prevents the leds from burning up.

The smoke in your video is probably the flux or maybe the wire insulation burning because the mcpcb over heated due to insufficient pressure to the head.

Your original issue of a blueish led on moonlight is quite odd. It might have been due to that led not being reflowed properly, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links.

JasonWW
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teacher wrote:

Was that ‘candlelight mode’ Nev??

It was Turbo.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links.

JasonWW
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BlueSwordM wrote:
See, this is what happens when thermal paste application isn’t adequate.

Paste has nothing to do with it. You have to have pressure pushing the mcpcb into the head. No pressure, no contact.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

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hank
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I feel like we’re living in the early years of a world in which everything we use has a user-programmable operation interface.

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JasonWW wrote:
teacher wrote:

Was that ‘candlelight mode’ Nev??
.
.
.
.
.
Complete with smoke…… Facepalm
.
Something ain’t right for sure….. Sad
It was Turbo.
It was my (seemingly feeble) attempt at a joke… Wink

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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JasonWW
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hank wrote:
I feel like we’re living in the early years of a world in which everything we use has a user-programmable operation interface.

It’s great, huh? Sick

I was just looking at a bmw motorcyle (F750GS Adventure Tourer) and the dang thing has push button preload adjust on the rear spring. Push the handle bar joystick and the darn bike raises and lowers hydraulically! Crazy! Not to mention the big lcd screen with all it’s fancy features. Geez, my bike is from 1986. Lol

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links.

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hank wrote:
I feel like we’re living in the early years of a world in which everything we use has a user-programmable operation interface.

It helps that computronium has recently become relatively small and cheap, and so has circuit printing. Many tasks don’t need more than a few MHz on the control chip, or more than a few KB of instructions, so all it needs for a brain is a fifty-cent chip the size of a small toenail.

Nev
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JasonWW wrote:
Nev wrote:

I’ve posted before about my fw3a stepping down to soon @40-50*C. , well I undid the bezel & took the optics out & noticed a discoloured led ,when the light is on moonlight it was showing a blue tinge , & I’ve been noticing it getting extremely hot to the touch whilst on turbo but also only reading 45*C when cold & about 54-55*C when warm when the thermal regulation turns the light down sharply ,now I have the optics off I can now see the FW smoking quite badly , I’ve emailed neal & told him. I thought I would take a video of it to show him & whilst I was videoing it I managed to catch it stop working ,it’s actually melted the solder on the black wire. Here’s the video  


 


 http://youtube.com/watch?v=MOXaQUa2t-4


 


Factory step down temp is 45°C.

On turbo it will get very hot, very fast. Mine steps down after 15 seconds with a 30Q. It stepped down after 12 seconds when the stock ambient calibration was off.

You never want to run a light (any light) at high power with nothing pressing the mcpcb to the head. The pressure is needed to transfer the heat and prevents the leds from burning up.

The smoke in your video is probably the flux or maybe the wire insulation burning because the mcpcb over heated due to insufficient pressure to the head.

Your original issue of a blueish led on moonlight is quite odd. It might have been due to that led not being reflowed properly, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Yes it was turbo but you can see it was only on for a few seconds before smoking & the light was cold at startup , it’s actually melted the solder on the black wire , mine will ( would have ) always step down when it reached 45*C from cold & 55 when warm whatever thermal limit I put it on , out of the box the step down was almost instant. The dodgy led has only been happening since 24 hours ago ,since the dodgy led ,although it still did work you could clearly see that only two of them works on full power ( like car head beams)

Clayman83
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Very interesting, my flashlight lives his own life, it can turn on an off without me. Happend a few minutes ago, it stood on the table near me and suddenly swithed on. It’s kind of…disturbing.

Random Dan
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Clayman83 wrote:
Very interesting, my flashlight lives his own life, it can turn on an off without me. Happend a few minutes ago, it stood on the table near me and suddenly swithed on. It’s kind of…disturbing.

I had the exact same thing happen with my fireflies rot66. Two or three times it just decided to turn on, and then eventually it changed to the switch just being always on which makes the light inoperable. I would email Neal and see if he can send you a replacement switch since it is easy to replace on the FW3A. Hopefully Neal/Lumintop have better warranty support than fireflies.
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Clayman83 wrote:
Very interesting, my flashlight lives his own life, it can turn on an off without me. Happend a few minutes ago, it stood on the table near me and suddenly swithed on. It’s kind of…disturbing.
Shocked . That is somewhat “disturbing” for sure. Keep us posted on any more ‘magical events’Facepalm … as well as the outcome. Good luck finding the cause… Thumbs Up

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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@ Random Dan….

It had slipped my mind but your post above about your Fireflies rot66 jarred my memory.

One of my Fireflies E07’s turned itself on a couple of weeks ago. I just happened to be looking at the lit up Auxiliary LED’s one night as it lay on a bedside table & the light just magically came on .. Shocked

I was surprised to say the least & started right then manually locking out all my E07’s.

So I’ll be interested as to what causes this as well. Thumbs Up

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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Clayman83 wrote:
Very interesting, my flashlight lives his own life, it can turn on an off without me. Happend a few minutes ago, it stood on the table near me and suddenly swithed on. It’s kind of…disturbing.

1/ Check if the retaining ring of the driver is firmly screwed in.
2/ Talking about force: my light does not like it if the body is screwed into the head with too much force.
Stop screwing in the body when you feel contact is made (don’t keep on pushing).

This light does have two sets of parts (of conductive materials) to close an electrical circuit from front to back.
Too much pressure on one set may disrupt the working of the other set.
These parts are all made of aluminum. Think of what happens when some of it changes into Cu, SS or Ti.
Each with their own expansion coefficient. And your photon grenade starts warming up.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

Clayman83
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Thank you for advices, everyone!
Well, when I received my fw3a, I checked the retaining ring and the switch, the ring was screwed very tight so I couldn’t unscrew it, cleaned everything with vodka and it work fine until today.
So, when it suddenly turned on, I removed the battery and then inserted it again… and nothing, just short blink.
And I did the same thing-cleaned everything with vodka once again. It works as usual.
So maybe my fw3a only works when it’s drunk? Facepalm I don’t know Big Smile

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short blink can mean ‘lockout mode’. try 4 presses. if you have not already.

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========
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--Greg Lemond.
========
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Clayman83
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No, it was not lockout, when I screw the head, it blinks and I assume it means that it has contact somewhere. When the head full screwed, the flashlight didn’t react to any switch press.
But when in lockout mode when you press the switch, the flashlight goes to moonlight.
Sorry for my bad English.
Anyway after cleaning it works fine, for now.

Coscar
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Random Dan wrote:
Clayman83 wrote:
Very interesting, my flashlight lives his own life, it can turn on an off without me. Happend a few minutes ago, it stood on the table near me and suddenly swithed on. It’s kind of…disturbing.
I had the exact same thing happen with my fireflies rot66. Two or three times it just decided to turn on, and then eventually it changed to the switch just being always on which makes the light inoperable. I would email Neal and see if he can send you a replacement switch since it is easy to replace on the FW3A. Hopefully Neal/Lumintop have better warranty support than fireflies.

I also had something strange happen with mine. I generally never turn my light off when in Turbo or on a high ramp without lowering but last night when I turned it on, it was either on Turbo or ramped to highest level but when I tried to ramp down it did not dim and when I tried to turn it off it the switch would not turn it off. It kinda caught me off guard and by the time I figured my only option was to unscrew the head it was already too hot to touch. Luckily, I was able to find a rag and get the head unscrewed but it was a little scary. After reassembly, the light again functioned normally and I have been unable to reproduce the anomaly…… I had already done the tighten tail/head/retaining ring checks…. not sure what caused this, but I really hope it doesnt come on by itself when I am not around.

Im not a Pessimist …. just an Optimist with a lot of experience

teacher
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Clayman83 wrote:
Thank you for advices, everyone!
Well, when I received my fw3a, I checked the retaining ring and the switch, the ring was screwed very tight so I couldn’t unscrew it, cleaned everything with vodka and it work fine until today.
So, when it suddenly turned on, I removed the battery and then inserted it again… and nothing, just short blink.
And I did the same thing-cleaned everything with vodka once again. It works as usual.
So maybe my fw3a only works when it’s drunk? Facepalm I don’t know Big Smile
Did the “short blink” happen as you were screwing the head back on??

If so… that is normal.

Just thinking….. the driver ring is tight you said.

But is the driver properly seated & slotted in the recess it fits in?

Go HERE to see pictures of what I’m referring to.

It can’t hurt to check…. Smile

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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Clayman83
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Checked the link and had a closer look at the driver, yes it seems a little moved and doesn’t installed properly. But I can’t move the ring, is it left or right screw there?

teacher
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Clayman83 wrote:
Checked the link and had a closer look at the driver, yes it seems a little moved and doesn’t installed properly. But I can’t move the ring, is it left or right screw there?
Turn ring to left (counter clockwise) to loosen.

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  

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