Q8, PMS SEND TO THOSE WITH ISSUES BLF soda can light

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Dusty
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Yeah!!!!! received mine. Happy to report no issues, other than self inflicted Silly Got a little click happy, and had to break out the manual. Switch led’s appear fine. No issues with them getting, flaky. Looking forward to dusk, to check it out. Thanks to the Q8 team, and Thorfire for putting this together.

It is an excellent quality light, that was worth the wait Thumbs Up

Bug

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rayman007 wrote:
Mine is still working fine thankfully.

But there is one thing my OCD cant cope with and that is that fully screwed in, so it can be switched on, the lines are not lined up to the top half ;-(
How can that be fixed?

I’ve had this kind of misalignment on many lights (and other devices with parts that screw together))… and lived with it most of the time. Though i haven’t tried i believe that a round washer on the driver side could fix it. The trick is to have the exact right thickness so the tube stops screwing in the right position.

Note the 20A from turbo will go through it, so a nice and polished piece of copper would certainly be welcome. Tin foil comes to mind but may add a weak point in the current loop – or not idk.

Tom Tom
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First: Kudos to the team, and Thorfire, for stopping to take stock and get this right.

A correct but difficult decision. I am all the more impressed with the leadership demonstrated here. This has encouraged me to order my second torch.

When this is resolved, which I am confident it will be, it will further strengthen my respect for Thorfire. They are giving it their attention.

Second: here is my take on what might be happening. Just a theory.

The technology for making natively coloured LEDs differs depending on the colour. Technically, the wavelength emitted is a function of the bandgap of the compound semiconductors used. Practically this means that the forward voltage needed to light up the LED is different for each colour.

As it happens, green LEDs require one of the highest forward voltages. Typically above 3V. I.e. much the same as a single lithium cell. Leaving almost no headroom for further voltage drop across the series resistor used to set the operating point (current level).

If I was asked to specify e.g. a typical green 3.3V LED, to consistently light up from a typical single cell (say voltage ranging from 3V to 4.2 V, I could not do it with just a series resistor.

I would argue for using a different colour, e.g. red, orange, yellow etc, with a Vf around 1.8V, leaving plenty of headroom for the series resistor to control the current across the full range of battery voltage.

I would only consider using a typical green LED if it could be driven from more voltage, e.g. in a 2S light, and even then, preferably from an MCU pin set up as an “open collector” or “low side drive” output capable of handling the full voltage.

The MCU in a 2S torch, would be expected to be supplied from no more than 5V, possibly as little as 3.3V, so a direct drive from an MCU pin might be marginal at best.

In the Q8 the MCU is driven from battery voltage (minus the drop cross the reverse protection diode) so tracks the battery voltage as it varies with charge level.

I read that the switch PCB was derived from that of the Thorfire S70 a 2S torch. Is it possible that the same green LED is being used in the Q8, with perhaps resistor value change to try to compensate for the 1S Q8 ? If so, maybe it is right on the edge of working, and e.g. small shifts of Vf as the LED warms up, or during initial ageing, or between the two LEDs, are enough to tip things over the edge.

If this turns out to be the case, I suggest that the green LED be changed for one with a much lower Vf (and different colour), and the series resistor value adjusted to suit.

Anyway, I’d just like to throw this speculation into the discussion. If I had my Q8 already I could do a few simple measurements to see if this has legs. I.e. anyone with a torch with functioning LEDs, and a multimeter, please measure the voltage directly across the LED whilst it is illuminated (I.e. Vf). and report back.

rayman007
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patmurris wrote:
rayman007 wrote:
Mine is still working fine thankfully.

But there is one thing my OCD cant cope with and that is that fully screwed in, so it can be switched on, the lines are not lined up to the top half ;-(
How can that be fixed?

I’ve had this kind of misalignment on many lights (and other devices with parts that screw together))… and lived with it most of the time. Though i haven’t tried i believe that a round washer on the driver side could fix it. The trick is to have the exact right thickness so the tube stops screwing in the right position.

Note the 20A from turbo will go through it, so a nice and polished piece of copper would certainly be welcome. Tin foil comes to mind but may add a weak point in the current loop – or not idk.

Good tip Wink Or if its really close mill or sand off a bit of the bottom half?

LEDtec
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only my opinion, but I believe that stop shipping just because 4 flashlights on 500 are “defective”, it’s exaggerated

Tom Tom
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rayman007 wrote:
Mine is still working fine thankfully.

But there is one thing my OCD cant cope with and that is that fully screwed in, so it can be switched on, the lines are not lined up to the top half ;-(
How can that be fixed?

Perhaps by “indexing” the battery tube, meaning carefully sanding down the end, bit by bit, until it lines up nicely. But only try this if there is enough thread left for the tube to be screwed on further. A quick check would be to take out the driver and see how many turns are available before it bottoms out on something. If this is say one more turn than needed to fit it with the driver in place, then it should work.

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The above is very valid in theory but my experience with lighted tailcaps, that use the same type of leds and single li-ion cell, is that green leds light up fine during most of the drainage of the cell, while red leds of course light up always, and blue leds do dim significantly when the cell is half-drained.
So these green leds should do fine, and indeed they do in my Q8 prototype and so it seems in many production lights.
Or it has to be that Thorfire used a green led with particularly high Vf (-variation), but I always thought that the Vf of 532nm leds is determined by the technology and does not really vary that much.

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rayman007 wrote:
Mine is still working fine thankfully.

But there is one thing my OCD cant cope with and that is that fully screwed in, so it can be switched on, the lines are not lined up to the top half ;-(
How can that be fixed?

I mean like it shoul;d be either like:

Not like:


I can have the proto work with the flat aligned, but it is less bright. It is such a short twist in unscrew direction it seems hard to fill it.

LEDtec wrote:
only my opinion, but I believe that stop shipping just because 4 flashlights on 500 are “defective”, it’s exaggerated

No don’t think so, er don’t know the extend and so far it is 4 in the delivered and no way all 500 are in. At best it is 1% and well we don’t want 20 with the issue, each one is one too much.
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Tom Tom wrote:
Anyway, I’d just like to throw this speculation into the discussion. If I had my Q8 already I could do a few simple measurements to see if this has legs. I.e. anyone with a torch with functioning LEDs, and a multimeter, please measure the voltage directly across the LED whilst it is illuminated (I.e. Vf). and report back.

I measured 2.10V with fresh 4.2V batteries.

Tom E
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Tom Tom wrote:
anyone with a torch with functioning LEDs, and a multimeter, please measure the voltage directly across the LED whilst it is illuminated (I.e. Vf). and report back.

yep, been done already. Measured 2.247V across each LED on one light that has 2 different brightness's, on the prototype measured 2.167V. Think the higher voltage is why the production Q8's switch LED's are brighter than the prototypes. Ideally design wise, would have been better using 1 resistor per LED. We've relayed all the details to ThorFire.

Tom Tom
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djozz wrote:
The above is very valid in theory but my experience with lighted tailcaps, that use the same type of leds and single li-ion cell, is that green leds light up fine during most of the drainage of the cell, while red leds of course light up always, and blue leds do dim significantly when the cell is half-drained. So these green leds should do fine, and indeed they do in my Q8 prototype and so it seems in many production lights. Or it has to be that Thorfire used a green led with particularly high Vf (-variation), but I always thought that the Vf of 532nm leds is determined by the technology and does not really vary that much.

If the LED is being driven from a straight MCU output, rather than a low side drive, then it is not the same as a simple lighted tailcap, there would be additional voltage drop across the reverse protection diode, and any other series resistance in e.g. a transient snubbing circuit, as well as within the MCU output driver itself to consider.

I’m used to doing worst-case analysis using max and min datasheet parameters, which is why I said I l probably could not sign off such a design, but in the real world thing usually work better than that. Suck it and see is also a valid approach, but can sometimes lead to surprises once production starts, that were not evident in small quantities of prototypes etc.

There is a difference between e.g. a modder hand-tuning a few lighted tailcaps to their personal taste, and the small batch of LEDs that they have on hand, compared with committing to production run of 2000, where the knock-on consequences of having to repair or replace even a tiny percentage of failed torches after they have been delivered, are significant.

Anyway, if a few people could measure their LED Vfs we might soon get an idea of the mean value and actual variations, whether the batch of LEDs has significant variability, and whether the design is solid, or a bit marginal.

snowe
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djburkes wrote:
snowe wrote:
Anyone have a suggestion on which batteries to get? I’ve never needed 18650s before, was looking at the comparison tool on reddit, but really don’t understand much of it.

I would suggest button top Sony VTC6 batteries or Samsung 30Q batteries…I’m partial to the VTC6s myself.

Any reason not to get a protected battery like the panasonic ncr18650b?

Tom Tom
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Tom E wrote:

Tom Tom wrote:
anyone with a torch with functioning LEDs, and a multimeter, please measure the voltage directly across the LED whilst it is illuminated (I.e. Vf). and report back.

yep, been done already. Measured 2.247V across each LED on one light that has 2 different brightness’s, on the prototype measured 2.167V. Think the higher voltage is why the production Q8’s switch LED’s are brighter than the prototypes. Ideally design wise, would have been better using 1 resistor per LED. We’ve relayed all the details to ThorFire.

You are bound to measure the same voltage across both LEDs (due to single resistor supplying both.)

But any small difference in Vfs between the LEDs would mean the lower one would hog the current, hence one bright, one dim.

Agreed, 1 resistor > 2 LEDs isn’t the best way.

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rayman007 wrote:
Mine is still working fine thankfully.

But there is one thing my OCD cant cope with and that is that fully screwed in, so it can be switched on, the lines are not lined up to the top half ;-(
How can that be fixed?

I mean like it shoul;d be either like:

Not like:

!http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s496/TomE2012/Break%20Downs/BLF%20Q8...!

Guess my OCD is worse than yours… I actually fixed mine. You can see that the SW leds are lit so it is contacting. I have swapped my SW LEDs to dimmer white.

DB Custom
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The high power consumption of this light may shut off the protection circuit if you try to use the highest levels.

Sony VTC6, Samsung 30Q, button tops. The Sony VTC5A is also a top performer but difficult to find with button tops applied. I got 8 of the 30Q with button tops for $5 each at LiionWholesale.com, they had 400+ then, but I don’t know if they still have them.

tru3s1lv3r
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Okay, so I have done some measurements on my switch board LED and resistor. The resistor is measuring at 15,130 OHMS and I am passing 1.453VDC on to the two LED’s. The switchboard LED’s stopped flickering after some more use of the lights. The voltage on my batteries is around 3.8V. Applying a full regulated 4.1VDC makes the LED’s light up like they are supposed to with 2.4VDC going to LED’s. Now here is the odd thing… After putting my partially drained batteries back into the light, they two switchboard LED’s lit up again for a short time, although one a little brighter than the other. I have measured the resistance across the LED’s themselves and found one to be at 61k OHMS and the other to be at 68.5k OHMS. Not sure what to do with this information, but I will probably be replacing the LED’s in mine as well as the resistor to hopefully higher quality components. Disappointing, but I guess that is to be expected from a first run. Is there any possibility of Thorfire offering replacement switchboards for those who wish to repair their lights?

Aspiring Fhashlightaholic!

snowe
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DB Custom wrote:
The high power consumption of this light may shut off the protection circuit if you try to use the highest levels.

Sony VTC6, Samsung 30Q, button tops. The Sony VTC5A is also a top performer but difficult to find with button tops applied. I got 8 of the 30Q with button tops for $5 each at LiionWholesale.com, they had 400+ then, but I don’t know if they still have them.

Is there any way to modify flat tops? LiionWholesale doesn’t have any more button tops Sad

Keisari
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snowe wrote:
djburkes wrote:
snowe wrote:
Anyone have a suggestion on which batteries to get? I’ve never needed 18650s before, was looking at the comparison tool on reddit, but really don’t understand much of it.

I would suggest button top Sony VTC6 batteries or Samsung 30Q batteries…I’m partial to the VTC6s myself.

Any reason not to get a protected battery like the panasonic ncr18650b?


Aside from that battery not being any more “protected” that the 30Q?

Not really, but before buying one’s first “protected li-ion battery”, one should be aware of who manufactures what. “Protected” Panasonic NCR Bs are comparable to, say, Trustfire, Keeppower or Nitecore branded batteries. Not comparable to normal Panasonic, LG, Samsung etc. bare cells.

Company A(typically someone big) made a li-ion cell. Company B (when buying “protected panasonics” an unknown sweatshop) rewrapped them, sometimes in clear plastic and fit a protection PCB and nipple. Company C made the PCB. From saying “a protected battery like the panasonic ncr18650b” one will have a long way to making an educated guess who made what.

TL;DR: It’s not Panasonic who markets those.

Tom Tom
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tru3s1lv3r wrote:

Okay, so I have done some measurements on my switch board LED and resistor. The resistor is measuring at 15,130 OHMS and I am passing 1.453VDC on to the two LED’s. The switchboard LED’s stopped flickering after some more use of the lights. The voltage on my batteries is around 3.8V. Applying a full regulated 4.1VDC makes the LED’s light up like they are supposed to with 2.4VDC going to LED’s. Now here is the odd thing… After putting my partially drained batteries back into the light, they two switchboard LED’s lit up again for a short time, although one a little brighter than the other. I have measured the resistance across the LED’s themselves and found one to be at 61k OHMS and the other to be at 68.5k OHMS. Not sure what to do with this information, but I will probably be replacing the LED’s in mine as well as the resistor to hopefully higher quality components. Disappointing, but I guess that is to be expected from a first run. Is there any possibility of Thorfire offering replacement switchboards for those who wish to repair their lights?

You can’t really learn much by trying to measure the resistance of an LED probably nothing, because a typical multimeter won’t apply anywhere near the Vf when measuring. Particularly when still connected to the de-powered MCU on the driver (whose internal protection circuits might be expected to provide another current path),

If your meter has a “diode test” setting that could provide useful information, but most such meters are set to measure switching diodes, typically less than 1V Vf. I do have one meter (a very cheap one) that can measure Vf on it’s diode test setting, up to about 3 V

The diode test setting usually applies a constant current of 1mA through the diode, and measures the resulting Vf. It’s actually very handy to check parts before or after assembly, because 1mA is enough to light up even big LEDs sufficiently to show that they are working, or with these little SMD leds light them up very brightly.

snowe
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Keisari wrote:
snowe wrote:
djburkes wrote:
snowe wrote:
Anyone have a suggestion on which batteries to get? I’ve never needed 18650s before, was looking at the comparison tool on reddit, but really don’t understand much of it.

I would suggest button top Sony VTC6 batteries or Samsung 30Q batteries…I’m partial to the VTC6s myself.

Any reason not to get a protected battery like the panasonic ncr18650b?


Aside from that battery not being any more “protected” that the 30Q?

Not really, but before buying one’s first “protected li-ion battery”, one should be aware of who manufactures what. “Protected” Panasonic NCR Bs are comparable to, say, Trustfire, Keeppower or Nitecore branded batteries. Not comparable to normal Panasonic, LG, Samsung etc. bare cells.

Company A(typically someone big) made a li-ion cell. Company B (when buying “protected panasonics” an unknown sweatshop) rewrapped them, sometimes in clear plastic and fit a protection PCB and nipple. Company C made the PCB. From saying “a protected battery like the panasonic ncr18650b” one will have a long way to making an educated guess who made what.

TL;DR: It’s not Panasonic who markets those.

Oh ok. Well thank you.. Is there any problem buying the 30qs from banggood then? Since no US retailer has them in stock?

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got my 1st light today. had the charged up LG cells ready while the samsungs were charging so i tossed them in.

man is it bright. cant wait for night. Smile

my switch LED’s are working fine so far.

thanks to those who made this light possible.

Brian

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jack-bkk wrote:
the beacons are slow blinkers not real lacation beacons liek on a nitecore

Do you mean the LED stays on too long?

I’m not sure how people use beacon modes. I’ve seen them with an on-time anywhere between 1ms and 1000ms, and an off-time of anywhere from 1s to 10s. Brightness has been anything from moon to turbo. What kind of beacon is ideal?

On my most recent beacon I took a guess and made the on-time 500ms, with brightness and off-time both configurable. But I don’t know if that’s what people consider good.

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snowe wrote:

Oh ok. Well thank you.. Is there any problem buying the 30qs from banggood then? Since no US retailer has them in stock?

Probably not. I’m assuming you’re looking to buy 30Q with aftermarket installed button tops(but no protection PCB added). They’re probably OK. However, it’s always an unknown factor. They may or may not have remarkable added resistance.

30Q unmodified could be available too. No problem buying those from BG either, if you’re willing to solder those to make kind of button tops.

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> production stoppage

Don’t get bent out of shape.
Consider the odds are that they did stop production for good reason.

Like, they need to understand why the problem is happening and, importantly, figure out whether it would appear over time with more flashlights.
You don’t want them to rush and ship you something that is going to make you unhappy later on.

They are smart to be concerned not about just a one percent chance of disappointment but about the possibility of shipping a known failure or problem that will appear after a while.

Could be there’s a problem with construction technique. Find that guy and educate him.

Could be there’s a problem with a bad parts lot.
Could be all the good source parts have already shipped and the next batch to be built would all or mostly have (or develop) the problem.
Are there bad parts in the bin they’d be drawing from if they kept building lights? They need to find that out.

And remember — it’s several companies supplying parts, several people putting them together.
All you need is just one person on the critical path with the chabuduo — “hey close enough just ship it”— attitude, covering up a problem and passing it on.

Finding that person can be a real difficult task, as that person’s manager could have the same “close enough” problem and be helping hide it.

Could be they really care about their reputation for doing quality work. Signs are that’s what’s happening.

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snowe wrote:
djburkes wrote:
snowe wrote:
Anyone have a suggestion on which batteries to get? I’ve never needed 18650s before, was looking at the comparison tool on reddit, but really don’t understand much of it.

I would suggest button top Sony VTC6 batteries or Samsung 30Q batteries…I’m partial to the VTC6s myself.

Any reason not to get a protected battery like the panasonic ncr18650b?


If you really want protected, I would go for better protected GAs (i.e. protection circuits around 10A) or one of the new breed of protected 30Q or VTC6. Examples include Imalent 15A protected 3000mAh and Acebeam 3100mAh protected.
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rocketshipdog wrote:
lionheart_2281 wrote:
Are the switch indicator LED’s supposed to be like that? One much brighter than the other? Could this be an early sign that it might fail in the future?

This could signify lights that had LEDs from two separate manufacturer batches with a different Vf if the resistor value is the issue as amplificus noted. Indeed it could be a way to determine what lights have a combination of two different batch LEDs.

From what I understand, it’s normal for little LEDs like this to have inconsistent performance when driven at such low levels, and to have different brightness per LED even at the same low voltage or power level. They’re not precision-binned like the Cree XP-L used in the front of the light.

For modding, people normally tweak each indicator LED individually to get a good result. For mass-production, this isn’t feasible so there is much more variation.

This probably reveals nothing about batches or longevity. It’s just par for the course.

Tom Tom
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djozz wrote:
The above is very valid in theory but my experience with lighted tailcaps, that use the same type of leds and single li-ion cell, is that green leds light up fine during most of the drainage of the cell, while red leds of course light up always, and blue leds do dim significantly when the cell is half-drained. So these green leds should do fine, and indeed they do in my Q8 prototype and so it seems in many production lights. Or it has to be that Thorfire used a green led with particularly high Vf (-variation), but I always thought that the Vf of 532nm leds is determined by the technology and does not really vary that much.

The thing is, in our application, i.e. running LEDs at very low currents, in the 100 uA region, we are pretty much “off data sheet”.

Typically datasheet Vf is specified at currents of 10s of milliamps, but below that the transfer characteristics can be highly non-linear.

So yes, a green LED with a datasheet Vf of say 3.3 V may well emit our desired levels of light at much lower voltages, but it may not be a region that the manufacturer tests for, nevermind commits to as a guaranteed characteristic parameter, and might be highly variable from batch to batch, even within a batch..

For others’ interest I came across this tutorial which explains the basics:

http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2012/resistors-for-leds/

The most reliable way to use an LED to consistently produce these low light levels might be to drive it at the lowest current level that is fully characterised (much brighter), then PWM it down to the desired level. If you have an MCU driving it already, and sufficient free internal resources (timer-counters etc.), maybe it could be done with just a little more firmware, and a resistor value change.

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Nobody is suffering, this is just a $40 toy, designed for fun by folks as a hobby.  Nobody is being being treated like toilet paper. 

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In an alternate reality, they would immediately issue a new absolute shipping day after they discovered a problem (preferably in a few days). They would then diagnose the problem, get delivery after finding they needed a replacement supply of parts, quickly rework the switch boards, and then deliver the2000 remaining lights to the carrier on the exact date previously stated. And send a repair team to each site that has received one of the first 500 and bring all of those up to spec (should only take an hour or so if there are the required 500 teams (with slack for hurricanes and other flight delays). It would be polite if each owner would arrange for good Chinese take-out while they were there.

In the reality we are forced to live in, they are proceeding exactly like they should and would/should/could absolutely not issue a new shipping date without confirming that the problem is resolved and all updates to the 2000 lights done. Then work out a protocol for replacing the problem part(s) in delivered lights. With the direction testing is leaning, this may have to replace the switch boards. The fault could be a problem with the Q8 electronics not providing enough voltage to the LEDs. And if this is the issue, it is further likely that just about everyone with bad switch boards could have the same problem at a later date based on the charge of batteries and maybe burn in drift.

Indications of ongoing testing (going on as we type) indicates a possible problem with the quality/Vf variability/incompatible Vf specs for the color and type.

THEY ARE DOING IT RIGHT.

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Q8 #2

Sigh ………

  • DOA = Dead On Arrival

Besides the detail above (and everything associated with it powering up) , all looks good. Smile
It is the same as the report of Q8 #1 , besides arrival time & power relate details.

  • Arrival time was today, 9-20-2017
  • No power related details to report

I will try to find the problem later… When I have time to get to it.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Q8 #GtM _ (Gifted to Me = GtM)

Thus far all looks good with this one.

Report is the same as Q8 #1 , except for arrival time & switch LED’s.

  • Arrival time was today, 9-20-2017
  • Switch LED’s both appear same brightness level thus far.
    .
    .

That is all for now.
Carry on…….

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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