FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight - SST-20 available, coupon codes public

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ToyKeeper
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Caleb wrote:
I am full of gratitude that CCT is a topic for discussion with this manufacturer. Some other manufacturers just keep cranking out lights with angry blue tint and low cri no matter what we say.

Yeah… I’m looking at you, Olight.

*grumble, grumble* 7500K, really? *grumble, grumble*

It’s definitely nice that companies like Lumintop pay more attention to enthusiast groups like BLF. What we get may not be perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than what’s available elsewhere.

ToyKeeper
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So… some news.

I got a surprise visit from DHL with a FW3A sample. I’m still testing it, but here are some initial notes…

The good:

  • Everything seems to work fine so far.
  • The optic is the correct type.
  • The spring hasn’t had anything flake off like in the previous sample.
  • The driver spring is slightly shorter to accommodate slightly longer cells.
  • The driver appears to be at the correct depth this time.
  • Button-top unprotected cells fit. I tried one 66.8 mm long and it was fine.
  • The driver and tail PCBs appear to have been upgraded from a green board with silver-colored traces to a purple board with copper traces. It’s also really clean and has extra labels on it, while the previous board was fairly dirty and somewhat damaged.
  • The dark-colored clip doesn’t use black paint like on a SK-68 or a SWM V11R. It seems to be a different type of finish, like it was oiled and heat-treated or something like that. It looks like polished hematite, or perhaps smoked chrome or gunmetal chrome. I don’t know how durable it is, but it looks nice.

The bad:

  • The clip ring has expanded from 25.5 mm to 26.1 mm in diameter, so it sticks out a little. I already asked about changing this, but it sounds like the clips have already been produced so it’s too late to change.

Other:

  • The tail is not glued.
  • The clip is a bit more stiff than the earlier versions.
  • The driver is still very slightly off center, but apparently not enough to effect anything.
  • The driver retaining ring on mine seems pretty stuck so I haven’t been able to get it out to look at the top side of the driver. I probably just need a better tool though.
  • The button is somehow even clickier now than in the previous sample. The feeling has really improved a lot since early prototypes.

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. Unless something goes wrong in testing (like if other sample units don’t work), it seems like it’s probably ready to ship.

tatasal
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Beer TK
zak.wilson
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Lumintop seems to get it pretty right when they’re collaborating with hobbyists. When they do stuff on their own, it doesn’t always make sense. The new EDC05C, for example (measurements by zeroair):

Battery: 14500 (only)
Emitter (front): XHP35 HI
Emitters (side): Nichia E17A (x4)
Output (front) claimed/measured: 500lm/426lm
Throw (front) claimed/measured: 120m/119m
Output (side) claimed/measured: 175lm/414lm

I cannot imagine any reason for this to be a 12 volt light. 500 lumens from a 14500 is doable using most 3V emitters – a single E21A would have worked for that. It doesn’t even maintain full, or near-full output when the battery is low. Points for using E17As though, at least assuming they’re high-CRI E17As.

But it seems like the design of that light was essentially random. Perhaps the company is run by a genetic algorithm?

Ceilingbounce – flashlight testing and runtime graphs for Android

korpzgrinda
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Thanks for the update TK!

teacher
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tatasal wrote:
Beer TK
+1 … Thank you TK. . Thumbs Up

Edit: Clip sounds alright too… no paint is a win!

  • Clip ring ‘expansion’…. who knows???

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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Firelight2
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Thanks for the update TK!

Sounds like it’s good enough. Time to start full production.

I WANT ONE!!!! Love

Streamtronics
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Thanks for the update, TK!

Anyone want to speculate why they made the clip ring wider? I can’t imagine it’s literally just a random decision… maybe they were afraid it’s too thin and might break in some units when the clip is put under a lot of stress, especially when they can’t guarantee the quality of the steel is top-notch for every clip

Umpi2000
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That’s great news TK, thanks for the update.
Is the hole in the end of the clip on your sample? I’m not a fan but it’s not a deal breaker at all, there are more important checkboxes that this light comfortably ticks for me so send out the order PM’s Innocent

ToyKeeper
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Umpi2000 wrote:
Is the hole in the end of the clip on your sample?

Yes, it has a hole in the tip of the clip. I suppose it could be called a tongue piercing.

cabfrank
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Thanks for the update. I have been waiting with baited breath. I assume we are very close now. Hopefully.

mattadores
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The only thing I can think of that would expand the clip ring is to increase the strength of the clip arm. Maybe they realized that if you put some good leverage on the clip arm as if you were fighting the light off your pocket it had a chance of bending both the arm and the actual clip ring.

I agree it’s not very visually appealing compared to a flush ring but in my experience a mfg who increases the size of a metal component is doing so at their cost rather than to save cost. TK noted the additional strength of the new clip and I’m thinking that’s got to be due to the additional ring size?

Umpi2000
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Umpi2000 wrote:
Is the hole in the end of the clip on your sample?

Yes, it has a hole in the tip of the clip. I suppose it could be called a tongue piercing.

Big Smile Silly Silly Wink
iamlucky13
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Streamtronics wrote:
Thanks for the update, TK!

Anyone want to speculate why they made the clip ring wider? I can’t imagine it’s literally just a random decision… maybe they were afraid it’s too thin and might break in some units when the clip is put under a lot of stress, especially when they can’t guarantee the quality of the steel is top-notch for every clip

It very well could have not involved any overt decision. Keep in mind that although it is easily noticeable in the picture, and I’m sure will be easy to feel, the growth Toykeeper measured is only 0.3mm (0.012”) per side – equivalent to the thickness of 6 sheets of paper.

If they’re sending out a CAD pattern to a vendor without tightly controlling the tolerance, the vendor may err on the side of providing too much material, especially with as thin as I expect the ring is. Or the supplier may have just ignored a specified tolerance.

Even in the US I’ve had suppliers miss or ignore tolerances they didn’t think were important.

Sofirn had trouble with the clip supplier for the C01, by the way.

EnlightenMe
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TK, any pics to share with the class?

Gunga
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Looks and sounds good. I’m ready to order.

Firelight2
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Gunga wrote:
Looks and sounds good. I’m ready to order.

Me too!

Where’s the order page? Silly

trakcon
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Bluzie posted photos at TLF!

teacher
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You got a link??

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 

 

                                             

trakcon
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ToyKeeper
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trakcon wrote:
Bluzie posted photos at TLF!
teacher wrote:
You got a link??

Bluzie posted here.

teacher
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Thank you both.

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 

 

                                             

oweban
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So in his photo, left is proto5 and right is proto4?

trakcon
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Yes. I believe that’s correct, though I think this is more production sample than prototype.

shirnask
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Well for me that makes the new clip look like something they found in the junk drawer.

teacher
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Those are some very good & detailed pictures.

It looks very good too.

Thanks to all who put forth the endless hours to get the project this far!!

Thanks TK for your endless effort here on BLF to keep this on track. 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 

 

                                             

oweban
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Yeah, much prefer proto4’s clip, but ah well. It’s not a sufficient enough reason to deter me.

justanotherguy
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its been so long a journey…
will clips be available separately ?

kanton
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Sorry, but the clip in black just still looks very bad to me. And if it’s not paint, I might not even be able to remove the color(?). Big meh for me.

And it’s not all about the color – a good portion also is about Lumintop’s attitude. This light is all about the design. And Lumintop seems to be like “yeah, let’s just slap whatever clip we have lying around onto that thing”. If that change really was an informed decision and they had the clips just produced for this specific light, the changes are just beyond me.

I am not a fan of the pimple extractor hole at the tip of the clip either, but at least that was already present in the initial 3D renderings.

I am glad to hear the rest works fine though. I just really wish the communication efforts by Lumintop were better and other than “it is fit”.

shirnask
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The only good reason to chose that clip is if they got them for free – I can’t believe they paid to have them made that way on purpose

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