Astrolux FT03 SST40 2400lm NarsilM v1.3 USB-C

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Bart1080
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Astrolux FT03 SST40 2400lm NarsilM v1.3 USB-C

New torch, reasonably happy with it and the functions it has….BUT

When it’s in turbo mode, it constantly flashes 3 times every 5 sec until it drops to a lower brightness.

Ive gone through the IU’s but no success at stopping this annoying feature. What Ive tried is:

1. Ramping IU, setting 3 Auto step down, 1 click to disable
2. Changed to Mode Set, then option 7 autostep down, 1 click to disable
3. Battery test mode, then Advanced UI, option 2 battery level blinks on button LED only, option 2 to enable
4. Factory reset

Ive flattened the 26650 battery and fully re-charged and still its the same……driving me nuts.
Ive also got a good quality Keepass battery to rule out a possible issue with a cheap Chinese battery
https://www.ausbatteries.com/lithium/26650/1-x-keeppower-26650-5500mah-l... – Protected cell

ps: new to forum, hopefully this is placed into the correct category.

Edited by: Bart1080 on 06/06/2021 - 19:04
raccoon city
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Thanks for stopping by, Bart1080!

Are you a fan of 1080p video?

Your thread should actually be here:

https://budgetlightforum.com/forum/flashlights/26650

There's a link in my signature on how to move a thread.

112_milla

Bart1080
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Tkx RC. Moved post. 1080p – Nah just came up with a random number in my user name. Smile

zoulas
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To truly rule out the battery, you would need to try a different battery and try that battery in a different light.

These light require high drain batteries.

Bart1080
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…only got the one light that takes these batteries. The Keepower battery 5500mAh is brand new, delivered last week to replace the Chinese battery.
From memory it didn’t do this behaviour straight out of the box….but my memory is a bit scratchy on that.

species8472
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You can run the FT03 with a 18650 or 21700. If you have one of those you could use it to see if you still have the problem. It just needs to be a high drain battery.

TMaxxJJ
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You say ‘to replace the Chinese battery’, did you order the light with a battery? Does it have a light green wrap on it? If so then they’re not too bad. Try fully charging that one and trying it.
Also, is the keepower one a protected cell?

Bart1080
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The one that came with it is a mustard color – 5,000mAh
The 26650 Keepower is same as the one that came with it – button top, not protected – correction, is protected.
Ive charged both and its the same result.

ArtieT59
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IIRC, there is a threaded ring on the driver side of the ft03? If so, make sure it is tightened down well.  Not ridiculous tight but very snug. You can use needle nose pliers in the two notches, If I'm thinking of the correct setup.

Check out some of my new lights (picture heavy) and quick first impressions of them here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/77180

Funtastic
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If you want to get a replacement driver you can do so via the Mateminco store on AliExpress. You will be looking at $15-20 plus shipping so you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth it

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

species8472
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Artiet59 wrote:

IIRC, there is a threaded ring on the driver side of the ft03? If so, make sure it is tightened down well.

 

Yes, there is the threaded ring.

 

You may want to check to see if the temperature is calibrated or at least close. Several of mine were not even remotely close. Now it is one of the first things I do with a new light.

CR888
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Bart1080 wrote:
…only got the one light that takes these batteries. The Keepower battery 5500mAh is brand new, delivered last week to replace the Chinese battery.
From memory it didn’t do this behaviour straight out of the box….but my memory is a bit scratchy on that.

Try the original Chinese battery, it ‘should’ be fit for purpose. If it works properly, the we know it’s a current issue and can advise you on some high discharge batteries that are good. Have you set the temperature setting.

CR888

Funtastic
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Above he mentioned he tried both batteries with the same result. The SST40 version only draws 6-7A which almost anything could run

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

CR888
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Bart1080 wrote:
The one that came with it is a mustard color – 5,000mAh
The Keepower is same as the one that came with it – button top, not protected.
Ive charged both and its the same result.

It’s not just about size & mAh, the continuous max current it’s rated at is important. Though even a 10A cell should work. Clean the contacts with alcohol, set the thermal regulation to 55°c & try.

CR888

CR888
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I know my Lumintop nano-GT blinks 3 times before it steps down. That light has Nasill, does the FT03 have Anduril?

CR888

Funtastic
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CR888 wrote:
I know my Lumintop nano-GT blinks 3 times before it steps down. That light has Nasill, does the FT03 have Anduril?

I sell both variants of the FT03 and there’s no blink, just a hard step down. The FT03 has NarsilM 1.3 and the FT03S has Anduril

Having the temp at factory settings won’t cause a blink either, so it’s not that. A blink is more along the lines of low battery. As mentioned clean contacts, tighten retaining ring, make sure springs are still soldered (had some poorly soldered), check battery is charged with an external charger or DMM.

A video of the issue could be helpful.

Had one customer complain “my FT03 is faulty, can I send it back? It’s stuck in step down” , the next day I get another email saying “ oh, just needed to charge the battery” lol

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

sarge12
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Bart1080 wrote:
Tkx RC. Moved post. 1080p – Nah just came up with a random number in my user name. Smile

What are you using to charge the battery? Are you using the built in charger, or a high quality external charger? Do you have a meter to check the voltage? If the charger is overcharging or undercharging the battery it can cause the blinks you describe. If overcharged it can kill a new battery, and undercharged it may just need more charging. I generally do not trust a flashlights charging…also, the USB source might be an issue. From off click the switch fast 3 times for the voltage blink code. Then if possible get a meter to check the battery to see if the onboard voltage is the same as the meter indicates. Once the voltage is below a certain level the light will blink to indicate it needs charging when going to turbo. I am fairly certain the battery voltage supplied is the issue, and if the charging method was the same for both batteries, the results would be the same as well. It does not matter what battery is used if the fault is with the charging method or a faulty charger.
sarge12
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I actually can hardly believe nobody else thought of the possibility of a bad charger or charging circuit in the light. That would be my best guess, because if the issue is with the charging of the battery, it would do the same no matter what battery was used. That would drive someone nuts for sure. If this is the only light you have with a 21700 battery, I would guess you are using the USB-C built into the light to charge it. A lot of chargers will not accomodate the 21700 battery length. If I had to put money on it, I would bet the battery is overcharged or undercharged. The charging circuits on flashlights are notorious for failing to properly charge a battery. Even with my extensive collection of lights, I only have 2 external chargers for 21700 batteries unless you count the olight magnetic charger with magnetic contacts for both sides. I personally usually use the Xtar VC8 for the 21700 batteries. The chances of both batteries being bad is much lower than a faulting charging circuit being used to charge both batteries. There are fairly inexpensive chargers that still work well, but even a fairly expensive flashlight can have a faulty charging circuit, and the Astrolux FT03 SST40-W is far from an expensive light, even though it is a great thrower for the money…one of the best. I would not trust the onboard charging though. I would say get a friend to check it, but I have no friends that have 200+ lights like I do. I just drained a battery on the FT03 SST40-W and it does the three blinks and dims at about 3 volts to prevent damaging the battery.

Funtastic
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…..I did. “check battery is charged with an external charger or DMM

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

Funtastic
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Battery that is being used isn’t a 21700 though, it’s a Keeppower 26650 and also the Green 26650 Banggood bundle

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

sarge12
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Funtastic wrote:
Battery that is being used isn’t a 21700 though, it’s a Keeppower 26650 and also the Green 26650 Banggood bundle

That would not matter….I just use 21700 batteries…samsung 40T..because they are were more available and were not re-wraps. My point is the blinks followed by dimming is a low voltage indicator.
Funtastic
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I’m aware it wouldn’t matter, but it would have saved you writing a short essay on a 21700 Silly

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

sarge12
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The circuit on the light does the 3 blinks and dims on the 4th blink when voltage is low…I confirmed that. If the driver is indicating a low battery when a known good battery of sufficient discharge rate is used, the driver for detecting low voltage may be faulty. I use the samsung 21700 with orings as spacers at the top and bottom because I have about 100 of them, and the 30T and 40T are batteries I trust. I suppose it is possible both of your batteries are bad, but not likely. The only thing I can state for a fact is 3 blinks and dimming on the 4th blink is the low voltage indicator for that light model…I have 5 of them. That was actually the light that got me hooked on flashlight collecting…or hoarding. For whatever reason, either the battery is not fully charged, or the PCB is indicating that it is needing charged.

sarge12
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Funtastic wrote:
I’m aware it wouldn’t matter, but it would have saved you writing a short essay on a 21700 Silly

Good one by the way Funtastic, but how do you know how Bart1080 is charging that battery?
Funtastic
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sarge12 wrote:
Funtastic wrote:
I’m aware it wouldn’t matter, but it would have saved you writing a short essay on a 21700 Silly
Good one by the way Funtastic, but how do you know how Bart1080 is charging that battery?

Yes, but that’s why I asked to check the voltage with a DMM

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

sarge12
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Funtastic wrote:
sarge12 wrote:
Funtastic wrote:
I’m aware it wouldn’t matter, but it would have saved you writing a short essay on a 21700 Silly
Good one by the way Funtastic, but how do you know how Bart1080 is charging that battery?

Yes, but that’s why I asked to check the voltage with a DMM


That is where my confusion happened….Your first 2 posts, I failed to notice you were not Bart1080. Now having slept, I see where you did tell him to check the voltage with a DMM. You see, I thought you were Bart1080 saying you had checked the battery and used an external charger. Having re-read it all, you were saying you had told him to check the battery voltage, which you had. I was just trying to explain that both batteries may be fine, but not getting a full charge or being overcharged to cause a battery failure. My bad for taking till your 3rd response to catch the fact that you were not Bart1080.
CR888
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sarge12 wrote:
Funtastic wrote:
Battery that is being used isn’t a 21700 though, it’s a Keeppower 26650 and also the Green 26650 Banggood bundle

That would not matter….I just use 21700 batteries…samsung 40T..because they are were more available and were not re-wraps. My point is the blinks followed by dimming is a low voltage indicator.

Yes correct, or at least from my experience. 3 blinks then step down. Maybe checking cell voltage with M/Meter could at least rule out whether it’s a cell/chargering problem or not. I like my FT03 xhp.50, seems a well made reliable light. Lots of light and not that much throw with the xhp50.2 but useful.

CR888

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Thanks all for your responses and advice.

Answers to your questions:
I’ve tested the battery and its a shade over 4v. I’ve only got my old analog “Micronta” multimeter ATM as the digital one is broke.
I don’t have an external charger and are using the USB-c built in charger
The FT03 is running NarsilM 1.3
I’ve checked the (driver board??) ring and its firm, the springs look ok, all connections are clean.
The Keepower battery is a 26650 5500mha protected cell

Further Testing
So, I’d left it on the USB-c charge all weekend, unplugging it once and plugging it back in with the USB-c charger from the powerpoint….not the PC.
Even though the volt test indicates its a shade over 4V, the charge indicator is always orange/green indicating its not fully charged. The indicator with the first few charges didnt do this in the beginning ie: it turned green when supposibly fully charged.

So the interesting thing this morning sitting at my desk is:
Turned the light on, doubled clicked to turbo to the wall in front of me and it went to turbo.
After 3 seconds it done its usual 3 blinks and dropped down in brightness. Repeated the same steps a few times and no change in behaviour.
What I’d noticed turning to turbo, the light output was slightly wavering possibly indicating a crappy connection before blinking 3 times and dropping slightly in brightness
THEN BAM
Turning to turbo, It was truly at its full turbo brightness…blindingly bright. After 20 seconds, no blinking. Repeated and it clicked into full turbo, no blinking.
Retested with the Chinese mustard color battery, and it to is working at full turbo mode which hasn’t been charged for weeks, voltage is ~4volts.
The batteries can be ruled out as an issue

Aside from when I tested in the first week on receiving this torch, Havn’t had this for weeks, so the turbo output was never really the full turbo output.

Questions
Any clues as to why all of a sudden full turbo is now working as its likely to fail again until the issue is rectified?….thinking either a faulty driver board, poor connection or temp setting that a couple of you have mentioned?
How do I check the temp settings?

Also Looks like I should buy a reasonable charger…something that can cater for multiple battery types as this is my first torch outside the AAA, AA, C arena.

zoulas
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Ahhhhhhh Protected.

sarge12
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zoulas wrote:
Ahhhhhhh Protected.

He said it was not protected batteries, and that light will not exceed the amp draw of protected battery circuit anyway.
sarge12
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@Bart1080 The tailcap completes the circuit to ground on the light through the exposed aluminum it screws onto. That is why the very edge is not anodized. Try taking some scotchbrite or very fine sandpaper and cleaning that. It is also best to unscrew the tailcap if not using the light for a while to reduce parasitic drain on the battery. It is sounding more like you have a weak ground connection. The exposed aluminum tube needs to be clean at both the head and the tailcap, but especially the tail. The battery tube could also be upside down….the side of the tube that has some unanodized threads needs to be on the head side. The light will function with it upside down, just not properly. The unanodized threads on the positive side screws onto unanodized threads in the head. That is why the positive head side is less critical. The tailcap only connects on the edge, just so you can easily disconnect the ground with a very slight loosening of the tailcap to prevent accidental turning the light on in a bag or suitcase. That does require that edge and the brass it contacts in the tailcap be tight and clean.

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