FW3A mod thread. Post yours!

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cyclops
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JaredM wrote:
@Gunga

Yes. I’ll do up a small post with a how to.. check back later.

UPDATE

I’ve revisited the design for creating a nubbin’ replacement that is simpler and (hopefully) universal. I had gone through many trial and error iterations and just stopped once I found a working combination. Turns out only one part of that configuration is needed. That’s the o-ring. 1/16” nominal thickness a 3/16” ID. Industry size -008.

Just remove the nubbin’ and insert said o-ring into the nubbin’ cavity of the switch boot. Carefully reassemble tailcap following guidelines mentioned in multiple fw3a threads. Enjoy the switch actuation that should have always been.

I did a quick search and they can be found on eBay for $2.50 per 10 shipped to US. Hardware or automotive stores will likely have something suitable as well.

!{width:100%}https://i.imgur.com/g7v0YDx.jpg!

I definitely need this! Hate to lockout every-time especially when mine is 1st gen with no dual brightness in lockout mode.

nobody
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JaredM wrote:
I'm glad others are finding this helpful! For me, if it weren't for figuring out a solution to the accidental activation, I would have gave up carrying the fw3a as my edc. It should be noted that I have very large hands and strong fingers. I often don't keep that in consideration. The 3/16" o-ring w/o a center spacer is "stiff" in my book. For others, it may be unbearably so. Both of you have built upon the concept and adapted it to your taste, so good work to y'all as well. I'm happy there is a tune-able and simple solution to a problem that can be a deal breaker to an otherwise great design. As for the noise level of the switch, I've had very mixed - almost random - results during experimentation. The smallest tweak sometimes will take it from nearly silent to very loud. :???:
Thanks to all of you for figuring this out. I just tried the o-ring. It takes my favorite light up a notch or two. It is great now. I might experiment with some of the other suggestions also. The extra firmness is great as well as the additional loudness. 
xevious
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G0OSE wrote:
Well, it was just serial numbers – but that said it looks easy (or so I thought) but when it’s got to be done to a standard, and legible – doing it is another kettle of fish. Took me a good year to master just writing neatly really. I am good at drawing so I’m hoping the 2 will meet in the middle somewhere! This inspired me to try – link

Definitely amazing work on that Panerai. Thumbs Up

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JaredM wrote:
@Gunga

Yes. I’ll do up a small post with a how to.. check back later.

UPDATE

I’ve revisited the design for creating a nubbin’ replacement that is simpler and (hopefully) universal. I had gone through many trial and error iterations and just stopped once I found a working combination. Turns out only one part of that configuration is needed. That’s the o-ring. 1/16” nominal thickness a 3/16” ID. Industry size -008.

Just remove the nubbin’ and insert said o-ring into the nubbin’ cavity of the switch boot. Carefully reassemble tailcap following guidelines mentioned in multiple fw3a threads. Enjoy the switch actuation that should have always been.

I did a quick search and they can be found on eBay for $2.50 per 10 shipped to US. Hardware or automotive stores will likely have something suitable as well.

!{width:100%}https://i.imgur.com/g7v0YDx.jpg!

Link?

JaredM
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For the o-rings?

trailhunter
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JaredM wrote:
For the o-rings?

Yeah, I see 008 but I seen various sizes, just want to make sure i (we) get the right ones

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https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/national-o-rings-4439/hardware—-f...

Thank you JaredM for figuring out this oring mod. Thumbs Up I had intentions of using the FW3A as a work tool, and this was not happening with the hair trigger stock switch.

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Scallywag
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JaredM wrote:
@Gunga

Yes. I’ll do up a small post with a how to.. check back later.

UPDATE

I’ve revisited the design for creating a nubbin’ replacement that is simpler and (hopefully) universal. I had gone through many trial and error iterations and just stopped once I found a working combination. Turns out only one part of that configuration is needed. That’s the o-ring. 1/16” nominal thickness a 3/16” ID. Industry size -008.

Just remove the nubbin’ and insert said o-ring into the nubbin’ cavity of the switch boot. Carefully reassemble tailcap following guidelines mentioned in multiple fw3a threads. Enjoy the switch actuation that should have always been.

I did a quick search and they can be found on eBay for $2.50 per 10 shipped to US. Hardware or automotive stores will likely have something suitable as well.

I just found this. Thank you. This is a lot better.

Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20 | Baton S1
Boruit D10 w/ Quadrupel Fet+1/Anduril | EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S15 Ti | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special | Thrunite T10Tv2
Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Unfinished: Sofirn SP70, IYP07/Tool AAA hot-rods, Jetbeam E3S
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

cabfrank
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I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the idea.

ttylamg
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alright I am back… finally.

Fw3a TIR

BTW, anyone noticed that if you unscrew the body of fw3a it’ll start to light up and ramp up? is there a short some where on mine, or is this expected?

C8+ (osram mod) - FT03 (pending repair) - Chaselight (hack dedome) - FW3A (W aux TIR) - Sofirn C8T - Emissar D4 (W aux TIR) - Convoy S2+ - Sipik (rip) - Solarforce L2
------------------------------------
Several laser pointers
————————————
Several pocket knifes

MascaratumB
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It seems that there is some extra pressure somewhere in the switch, or some short if it starts to ramp by itself.
Go back to the tailcap and re-check it, otherwise it may turn ON accidentally and…you know that it will burn something!

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ttylamg
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It wasn’t the tail switch. I was able to fix it by twisting the head back and forth several times, I felt some rough spots and when it is gone it no longer do that. I think the driver design is using various voltage as signal to turn on and off etc, so when the head circuit gets cut off temporarily it got mislead. So dirt or bad contact can cause this. Or so I assume.

C8+ (osram mod) - FT03 (pending repair) - Chaselight (hack dedome) - FW3A (W aux TIR) - Sofirn C8T - Emissar D4 (W aux TIR) - Convoy S2+ - Sipik (rip) - Solarforce L2
------------------------------------
Several laser pointers
————————————
Several pocket knifes

hank
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Quote:
dirt or bad contact can cause this. Or so I assume.

Uh oh. Have you asked TK about this?

In general, I’d prefer “fail safe” over “fail worse” as a design principle, because stuff happens.
It would take some hardware fix to avoid fail-to-bright-and-hot, I’d think, not just software.

ttylamg
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You have to use twist it on and off to cause this. And some dirt or connectivity issue at the same time. This is not an expected usage, so there’s really no worry here (unless you have a need to use twist on or off frequently as cut off, like me).

C8+ (osram mod) - FT03 (pending repair) - Chaselight (hack dedome) - FW3A (W aux TIR) - Sofirn C8T - Emissar D4 (W aux TIR) - Convoy S2+ - Sipik (rip) - Solarforce L2
------------------------------------
Several laser pointers
————————————
Several pocket knifes

f0xx
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ttylamg wrote:
You have to use twist it on and off to cause this. And some dirt or connectivity issue at the same time. This is not an expected usage, so there’s really no worry here (unless you have a need to use twist on or off frequently as cut off, like me).

May be a loose retaining ring.. Mine have all had some initial issues with the ring being loose/off center, or the interior tube not meeting the intended contact point. Could also be some oxidation on the contact points.. a q-tip with some rubbing alcohol may clear that up if it is an issue.

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cabfrank wrote:
I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the idea.
I’m using the 5/32 o-ring and it’s great. However, the o-ring presents a little challenge. The tail cap must be totally tight. If it’s a little loose? You get weird shut-off events. It doesn’t take much loosening for it to happen either.
xevious
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Got my little FW3A parts parcel from Neal’s Gadgets. Picked up an 18350 tube. Lanyard ring. SS bezel. And aqua GITD.

Well, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed by that aqua. While it’s a nice color, it’s noticeably weaker than the green AND it fades off faster. It bothers me enough that I’m going to try a few timing tests. At least it comes in a nice twist top round plastic container.

But that SS bezel is sweet and worth the price.

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some people rant about the many variations and "offsprings" of the original design / idea...

but i actually like that it evolved from "something for some freaks" to a flashlight-family suiteable for many ...

a nice example:

a customized FW3T+C with engraved copper button (by S•C•P Schiller Custom Parts) and more - what a beauty!
owner: Patric Böttcher 

 all new deals are also posted here: deals.m4dm4x.com
if you do not find what you are looking for :

ask MARTIN@M4DM4X.COM - i will save you money!

cabfrank
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xevious wrote:
cabfrank wrote:
I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the idea.
I’m using the 5/32 o-ring and it’s great. However, the o-ring presents a little challenge. The tail cap must be totally tight. If it’s a little loose? You get weird shut-off events. It doesn’t take much loosening for it to happen either.

I just got around to it tonight. TOTALLY TRANSFORMATIONAL! Excellent idea, and takes less than two minutes. Thanks Jared!
I can see trying a 5/32, or maybe experimenting a little, because it is a bit stiff now, but it is great, and SO MUCH BETTER. I really got tired of the four click routine all the time, and this light did turn on far too easily. I bought three 008 rings at the hardware store, and it is for sure the best 90 cents I’ve ever spent.

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I’m curious about the 5/32 now as well. I probably have one laying around.

If I get some time to tinker with lights this weekend, I’m going to look into ways of silencing the switch with this setup as well

xevious
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M4D M4X wrote:
some people rant about the many variations and "offsprings" of the original design / idea...
but i actually like that it evolved from "something for some freaks" to a flashlight-family suiteable for many ...
a nice example:

a customized FW3T+C with engraved copper button (by S•C•P Schiller Custom Parts) and more - what a beauty!
owner: Patric Böttcher 

That looks fantastic. Checked out SCP--beautiful work.

Btw, about that lanyard ring attachment -- any info on it?  EDIT: what is attached to the ring, to clarify

xevious
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JaredM wrote:
I’m curious about the 5/32 now as well. I probably have one laying around.

If I get some time to tinker with lights this weekend, I’m going to look into ways of silencing the switch with this setup as well

I first tried the 3/16” o-ring and button was way too firm for my liking. Exceeded stiffness beyond what I’d consider normal. I found 5/32” works much better. The only drawback is that it does create some switch noise (the OEM nubbin has hardly any sound at all, at least with my early production FW3A). Not anything unusual and still quieter than a clicky switch or the 3/16” o-ring.
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xevious wrote:


Btw, about that lanyard ring attachment — any info on it?

lanyard ring

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Scallywag wrote:
JaredM wrote:
@Gunga

Yes. I’ll do up a small post with a how to.. check back later.

UPDATE

I’ve revisited the design for creating a nubbin’ replacement that is simpler and (hopefully) universal. I had gone through many trial and error iterations and just stopped once I found a working combination. Turns out only one part of that configuration is needed. That’s the o-ring. 1/16” nominal thickness a 3/16” ID. Industry size -008.

Just remove the nubbin’ and insert said o-ring into the nubbin’ cavity of the switch boot. Carefully reassemble tailcap following guidelines mentioned in multiple fw3a threads. Enjoy the switch actuation that should have always been.

I did a quick search and they can be found on eBay for $2.50 per 10 shipped to US. Hardware or automotive stores will likely have something suitable as well.

I just found this. Thank you. This is a lot better.

I used a spare mechanical keyboard o-ring I had, which was not quite “to spec” but close.

Thoughts after carrying it some: Completely different light. Not a single accidental activation since the switch (pardon the pun). The button is a wee bit mushy now, but the functionality is incredible. This is how the FW3A always should have been. It instantly jumped up to be one of my leading pocket-time lights, especially after also going to the throwiest Carclo triple optic.

Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20 | Baton S1
Boruit D10 w/ Quadrupel Fet+1/Anduril | EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S15 Ti | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special | Thrunite T10Tv2
Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Unfinished: Sofirn SP70, IYP07/Tool AAA hot-rods, Jetbeam E3S
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

xevious
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shirnask wrote:
lanyard ring
I have one already. I was actually interested in the attachment to it, not the ring itself.
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Just did the o-ring mod also using a generic keyboard keycap sized o-ring and did a very [un]scientific method of measuring switch force: used a kitchen scale and watched how much weight in grams was needed to actuate the switch.

Three candidates: Gen1 grey FW3A without switch retaining ring, blue FW3A with switch retaining ring but similar switch feel with the o-ring mod, and a purple FW3A with switch retaining ring and a much stiffer stock switch which must be an improved switch design.

Actuation force, approximated:

Grey FW3A with light switch: ~300g

Purple FW3A with stiffer switch: ~600g

Blue FW3A with light switch and o-ring mod: ~700g

One thing of note is the purple FW3A’s stock stiff switch is much more satisfying to click than the modded blue one, there’s a bit of dead travel in the o-ring switch without the nubbin’ leading to an initially mushy feel like others have said, but it’s definitely an improvement.

This is an easy hardware fix instead of modifying the firmware to make a software solution.

The firmware “fix” I did was to replace the lockout second click’s default value of using the second ramp’s floor for momentary, with the value used for manual memory which I use on all my Anduril lights. So 2H gave me a momentary function for the level of light set to manual memory while locked out, useful if light was only needed for a couple seconds.

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I swapped the leds to SST20 3500K, really nice tint. But I am getting short somewhere, there is only turbo. I was checking the both sides of driver under stereomicroscope and didn ´t find anything. First I tested leds with a power supply on low miliamps and everything worked as expected. I really have to figure this out :D. Maybe some driver components are touching a flashlight body, don´t know.

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F.i.l.a.s wrote:
I swapped the leds to SST20 3500K, really nice tint. But I am getting short somewhere, there is only turbo. I was checking the both sides of driver under stereomicroscope and didn ´t find anything. First I tested leds with a power supply on low miliamps and everything worked as expected. I really have to figure this out :D. Maybe some driver components are touching a flashlight body, don´t know.
Only turbo?

This happened to me on my polished FW3T after I tried swapping in the optics and the new optic pressed too firmly against the emitter.

The problem wasn’t the driver. Rather it was a bad solder job under one of the LEDs. There was a short between the negative contact pad of one LED and the center ground pad. You can test for this as follows:

  • remove the star from the light
  • connect one probe from your DMM to the negative driver wire pad on the top of the star.
  • connect the other probe from your DMM to the side or bottom of the star.

If you get a connection, then you have a short. This short causes the light to bypass the driver completely. The only output you get is max turbo and the switch does nothing. It will turn on in max turbo the instant the battery tube is halfway screwed in.

If you have the same problem, the solution is to reflow the LEDs and check the solder under each one. I did that on mine and it completely fixed the problem.

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M4D M4X wrote:
a customized FW3T+C with engraved copper button (by S•C•P Schiller Custom Parts) and more – what a beauty!
owner: Patric Böttcher 

I love the look of the hammered copper this guy did

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