CRX FW3A Mods & Teardown

45 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland
CRX FW3A Mods & Teardown

Received my FW3A today Smile

Stock FW3A.FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3200lm.Cree XP-L HI 3D version.
Initial tests were something like this with a 30Q:
Default turn on - 135lm
Top Ramp - 972lm/ 30s - 730lm
Turbo max - 3100lm

Very nice light, well worth the wait, well done team Wink Thumbs Up

On to the moddin'...FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.Triple Cree XP-L HI 3D emitters
Noctigon copper DTP MCPCB
Carclo 10511 optic
ARC glass
Green GITD glow gasket
Anduril firmware 8x7135 & FET driver
Upgraded 20AWG silicone wires
Electronic tail switch with magnetic enclosure & tritium vial

Length - 92mm
Width - 25.5mm
Weight - 98g (With 18650 cell)

Quick secondary measurements:

Stepped Ramping: (Default Modes)
Mode 1 - 5lm
Mode 2 - 38lm
Mode 3 - 92lm
Mode 4 - 184lm
Mode 5 - 360lm
Mode 6 - 605lm
Mode 7 - 972lm
Turbo - 3375lm

Smooth Ramping:
Default turn on - 135lm
Top Ramp - 980lm/ 30s - 870lm
Turbo max - 3375lm

FW3A Runtime graph:

FW3A Runtime graph

FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

.

Head:

Bypassed the driver spring and replaced the driver wires with 20AWG.
Changed the stock MCPCB to a Noctigon. Stock MCPCB = 20mm x 1.45mm, Noctigon = 20mm x 1.72mm.
Cleaned off the old thermal paste and applied new Artic Alumina.
Added one of my hand made glow gaskets and blackened the bottom of the optic legs.FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

Hand made glow gaskets.

Body:

I wrapped the inner switch core with two layers of kapton tape for a nice snug fit which should reduce any switching problems by keeping the tube in the proper position.
Also installed some carbon fibre wrap on the inside of the battery tube and cleaned all contacts.FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

Tail:
My nubbin was so happy to see me that it jumped straight out to play hide & seek when I first opened the switch up, escape artists these are LOL 
Just as a matter of course I took the switch membrane off, cleaned and applied fresh kapton tape a little better than before.
Bypassed the switch spring.
Sorry nubbin, but you need to go Crying
I cut the rubber holding ring off from the switch boot and drilled a hole in the switch cover, filled with clear UV setting glue.
Next I positioned a 6mm x 2mm green tritium vial and secured in place with a UV glue & glow powder mix.
I decided to keep the switch locator subtle with just a small centre hole instead of a slot.
Tip: You can quieten the noisy switch by adding some silicone or thick grease above & below the rubber boot but it is better to completely seal the metal contact diaphragm as shown with kapton tape to prevent any grease getting in there.FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

Complete. (Or maybe not...)FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

.

Tail mod II.

I didn't like the diaphragm popper operation so I decided to install a proper tactile momentary switch with a smaller button and a magnetic shrouded enclosure.
Carbon fibre switch enclosure with 15 neodymium magnets, 8mm diameter linear button with 6mm x 1.5mm green tritium vial.
The button can only move in a straight line and accidental activation is not as easy now.
The carbon fibre/ magnets are fixed in place, sit flush with the tailcap edge and strong enough to hold the light horizontally.FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

Complete. This time.. I'm sure... Innocent FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

FW3A Triple XP-L HI 3D - SD - 18650 - 3375lm.

.

Useful links:

maukka FW3A review - XP-L HI

FW3A mod thread. Post yours!

FW3A Useful Information.....

FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

FW3A UI CheatSheet (Full FW3A Maunal)

CRX FW3A UI CHeatSheet

Edited by: CRX on 06/08/2019 - 14:45
Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12170
Location: LI NY

Nice! Luv your work!! Not sure if you seen vinh's polished switch cover here? Might be an interesting touch.

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Thanks,
Yes I saw that but must admit I like the machined finish a lot more, I tried very hard not to damage it when working on it so I wouldn’t have to sand it down Big Smile

teacher
teacher's picture
Online
Last seen: 5 min 53 sec ago
Joined: 02/23/2016 - 19:04
Posts: 9046
Location: NE & SW Alabama

Nice work & great thread CRX. Beer

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 

 

                                             

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Thanks, feel free to steal any pictures you find useful for your troubleshooting thread.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 363
Location: Ohio, United States

CRX wrote:
My nubbin was so happy to see me that it jumped straight out to play hide & seek

For posterity.

 

On a more serious note, I love the tail switch mod. 

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62 | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V
"Back-Ups": EagTac D25C Ti | Olight S1 | Klarus Mini One Ti
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
In-progress: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2 | Jaxman Z1 White Flat
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

M3CSL
M3CSL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 05/02/2019 - 05:34
Posts: 215

Thanks for the very detailed mod overview, and the great pictures!
Excellent work, as usual Smile

Convoy S2+ 219b triple, Astrolux FT02, Maglite 3D, Solarforce L2t

teacher
teacher's picture
Online
Last seen: 5 min 53 sec ago
Joined: 02/23/2016 - 19:04
Posts: 9046
Location: NE & SW Alabama

CRX wrote:
Thanks, feel free to steal any pictures you find useful for your troubleshooting thread.
Your welcome & I will.. as well as put a link to this thread. Beer

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 

 

                                             

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12170
Location: LI NY

Something I don't quite get - is the glass vial taking the pressure of depressing the switch? If not, not sure how it's avoided.

Tixx
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 22:34
Posts: 237
Location: United States
Tom E wrote:

Something I don’t quite get – is the glass vial taking the pressure of depressing the switch? If not, not sure how it’s avoided.

Great mods! Was thinking the same.

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

I would have preferred to use a 6mm x 1.5mm vial but only had a 2mm on hand.
The UV glue helps support it at the sides, it is level with the bottom of the vial so takes some pressure but the underside of the vial is bare though it doesn’t take much pressure to operate the switch and it sits on top of the rubber so I’ll see how it lasts.
A very hard direct bump to the switch might break the vial as it is but between the rubber and the wide membrane type switch it should be ok.
Kinda like when you install a vial through the rubber switch boot posts.

xevious
xevious's picture
Offline
Last seen: 25 min 47 sec ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 672
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

Fantastic work, CRX. I’m admiring and jealous at the same time. Wink

Sure would’ve been great if a trit slot had been cut into the tail cap… But it seems like it’s not deep enough.

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Thanks.
Thing is though it could be deep enough, I was expecting a lot more hassle trying to get it working properly, especially with the thicker vial but all I did was cut the nubbin off.
If the switch cover was made with the vial recess very thin it should work just fine with a little mod to the rubber boot.
The top switch cover is around 0.5mm thick if I remember right, plus it had a 0.4mm nub on it and then you have another 1.5mm space with the rubber nubbin removed.
Well, that’s a word I never thought I would write more than once in a lifetime.. LOL

xevious
xevious's picture
Offline
Last seen: 25 min 47 sec ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 672
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

CRX wrote:
Thanks.
Thing is though it could be deep enough, I was expecting a lot more hassle trying to get it working properly, especially with the thicker vial but all I did was cut the nubbin off.
If the switch cover was made with the vial recess very thin it should work just fine with a little mod to the rubber boot.
The top switch cover is around 0.5mm thick if I remember right, plus it had a 0.4mm nub on it and then you have another 1.5mm space with the rubber nubbin removed.
Well, that’s a word I never thought I would write more than once in a lifetime.. LOL

Flickin’ nubbins when clubbin’ will get you a drubbin. Wink

Yeah, given what you said, seems like one could cut a slot all the way through. I have a SOG Vulcan Tanto San Mai with 3 cut slots in the blade. I discovered two were large enough to fit some trit vials. Because the slots were cut all the way through, I taped up one side to keep the Norland from leaking through. So same technique could be used for installing one on a slotted button cover.

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Nice. That is exactly what I do, tape one side or put tape on a very flat surface, hold the item down and apply the glue Thumbs Up

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12170
Location: LI NY

Hhmm - sounds like same trick I do using tape on the inner pill side to fill in USB charging holes with epoxy. I've been using kapton tape actually, and JB Weld. No pics though...

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Great minds think alike! Big Smile Thumbs Up

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12170
Location: LI NY

I like taking $10 lights and making something useful and nice out of them:

  

  

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Left handed?

Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12170
Location: LI NY

yep smile

Slayer1
Slayer1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 min ago
Joined: 03/03/2016 - 02:59
Posts: 284
Location: Singapore

Awesome mod CRX! Thumbs Up Beer

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland
Wink Thumbs Up
Tom E
Tom E's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 08/19/2012 - 08:23
Posts: 12170
Location: LI NY

CRX - in swapping to the Noctigon, did you sand it down or did the thickness work out ok or handled in another way?

contactcr
Online
Last seen: 2 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 05/19/2017 - 18:52
Posts: 1850
Location: US
Tom E wrote:

CRX – in swapping to the Noctigon, did you sand it down or did the thickness work out ok or handled in another way?

Also interested in this since I have a L4P all ready to go waiting for a FW3A, lol.

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

There’s not much difference, I had no problem but I have used a very slightly thinner GITD O-ring, I’m sure the stock one would be fine, a little extra pressure on the MCPCB which is good.
Stock MCPCB = 20mm x 1.45mm, Noctigon = 20mm x 1.72mm.

contactcr
Online
Last seen: 2 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 05/19/2017 - 18:52
Posts: 1850
Location: US

Nice, in that case the LED4Power one is actually 1.5mm so no issues. Good to see it should drop in most of the good triple boards out there

contactcr
Online
Last seen: 2 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 05/19/2017 - 18:52
Posts: 1850
Location: US

Do you know if the stock springs are steel, bronze or copper?

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

No idea, haven’t seen anything about them. Could be silvery coated steel or something?
I did get a slight boost by bypassing them.

contactcr
Online
Last seen: 2 min 52 sec ago
Joined: 05/19/2017 - 18:52
Posts: 1850
Location: US

Are they magnetic? That would narrow it down

CRX
CRX's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 3625
Location: Scotland

Didn’t even think Big Smile Facepalm
Not magnetic.

cabfrank
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 11/19/2010 - 17:25
Posts: 2754
Location: healdsburg, california usa earth

Great stuff, as always. What would be the best size kapton tape to buy for this?

Pages