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

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JetskiMark
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I just received my FW3C polished, Cree XPL Hi 3D and it does not work. It sure looks and feels nice though. I ordered it through Neal’s site.

I have read this entire thread.

I only get the flash when the battery initially makes contact. I have tried several different unprotected 18650s that are all at a little over 4 volts. They work fine in other lights.

It has a brass driver retaining ring and a black switch retaining ring.

I tried loosening the driver retaining ring to make sure the driver was centered. I also tried it without the ring installed.

The solder joints on the MCPCB look fine.

I held a battery to the head and completed the circuit with a piece of wire and still only got the initial flash.

Is there anything else I should try?

I sure hope I do not have to send it back to China.

I was going to order a FW3T with the same emitters, if I liked the tint of the XPL Hi 3D. I am now going to hold off until I get this straightened out.

I have not reached out to Neal yet. I will do that shortly.

scosgt
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JetskiMark wrote:
I just received my FW3C polished, Cree XPL Hi 3D and it does not work. It sure looks and feels nice though. I ordered it through Neal’s site.

I have read this entire thread.

I only get the flash when the battery initially makes contact. I have tried several different unprotected 18650s that are all at a little over 4 volts. They work fine in other lights.

It has a brass driver retaining ring and a black switch retaining ring.

I tried loosening the driver retaining ring to make sure the driver was centered. I also tried it without the ring installed.

The solder joints on the MCPCB look fine.

I held a battery to the head and completed the circuit with a piece of wire and still only got the initial flash.

Is there anything else I should try?

I sure hope I do not have to send it back to China.

I was going to order a FW3T with the same emitters, if I liked the tint of the XPL Hi 3D. I am now going to hold off until I get this straightened out.

I have not reached out to Neal yet. I will do that shortly.

take off the head and tail. You will see a circular copper contact point on each, wipe those points and the springs with a swab dipped in alcohol. Problem should be solved,

Firelight2
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You are getting the initial flash when the battery makes contact. This means the driver is powered and the LED works.

But when you press the button nothing happens. The switch connection via the inner-tube isn’t working. Probably the tailcap isn’t on tight enough.

Try this:

  • Remove the head.
  • Partially unscrew the tailcap, then screw it together as tightly as you can.
  • insert battery
  • screw on head.

scosgt
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Also wipe both ends of the tube.
Remove the clip, sometimes the tail is not screwed all the way down
don’t worry, it will work. They all seem to do this

JetskiMark
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Thank you for the suggestions.

I had cleaned everything with alcohol and lubed the threads with Nyogel 760G when I first received it. I do this on all of my lights.

When it did not work, I also tried screwing it together really tight.

I just now cleaned everything with alcohol and concentrated on the contact points and springs. No lube. Really tight. Nothing.

I removed the clip and cleaned everything again. Nothing but the initial flash.

Frustrating.

I guess I will have to contact Neal.

So much for instant gratification.

JasonWW
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JetskiMark wrote:
Thank you for the suggestions.

I had cleaned everything with alcohol and lubed the threads with Nyogel 760G when I first received it. I do this on all of my lights.

When it did not work, I also tried screwing it together really tight.


The way it’s tighted matters. Loosen head, tighten tail nice and tight, then tighten head.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

JetskiMark
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Thank you.

I made the tail really tight and then put the head on tight and still nothing.

I get so hopeful every time that this nice looking light will work.

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I had a bit of a problem with the retainer ring in the head of my FW3C. I finally removed it and the light works consistently xlnt.
My prob was a bit diff as I had tried to remove it with an inappropriate tool. When I tried it afterwards there was flicker after the initial flicker. I may have scored the retainer and caused a burr?? Anyway, removing it doesn’t seem to affect its operation.

JetskiMark
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Thanks.

I had tried that previously. I just removed the retaining ring in the head again. Hopeful. Nothing.

scosgt
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JetskiMark wrote:
Thank you.

I made the tail really tight and then put the head on tight and still nothing.

I get so hopeful every time that this nice looking light will work.

Take the black ring off the tail and take out the switch (CAREFUL NOT TO LOSE THE NUB) and make sure all is aligned, I had a similar issue, the nub was sideways and not clicking the switch.
Check the brass ring in the head, in one of mine it was not installed properly and the board was moving around. I had to take it off and put it back on properly.
Make sure the driver board is centered. The contact ring should not be touching the brass ring and has to be aligned well enough to engage the inner tube.
Make sure to wipe off the unanodized parts of the inner ring, they need to make contact.
When you put the tail back on, do it carefully so everything stays aligned but leave the black ring off. I had to do that on one of mine, every time I tried to get it back on the switch stuff would get out of alignment, you don’t need the ring.

chops728
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By chance are you using button top cells —-my newest FW3 won’t work with button tops

scosgt
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chops728 wrote:
By chance are you using button top cells —-my newest FW3 won’t work with button tops

I meant to bring that up. Orbitronics are shorter and will work, the Samsung Q30 BT is a problem

JetskiMark
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chops728 wrote:
By chance are you using button top cells —-my newest FW3 won’t work with button tops

Thank you very much! It works!

The unprotected cells that I was trying were Panasonic NCR18650A button tops. I tried several different ones and they all work fine in my various Zebralights.

I had salvaged some generic flat top 18650s from a bicycle light pack that had a bad cell. These work perfectly with my FW3C.

I like the tint and the UI.

I guess that I will now have to order some quality 18650 flat tops and an FW3T. And probably an FW3A while I am at it.

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Wow, it was the batteries! Glad to hear the light is working fine!

Kudos to chops 728 for his insight.

chops728
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Like my Old Mentor who taught me about cars told me one time —- I was having trouble with a truck,when I would turn my lights on the gages would goes crazy then to zero—He told me check the body ground—Wow that was it — He said I’m not that smart —- It Happened To Me Before Wink

scosgt
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Efest battery ebay

JetskiMark wrote:
chops728 wrote:
By chance are you using button top cells —-my newest FW3 won’t work with button tops

Thank you very much! It works!

The unprotected cells that I was trying were Panasonic NCR18650A button tops. I tried several different ones and they all work fine in my various Zebralights.

I had salvaged some generic flat top 18650s from a bicycle light pack that had a bad cell. These work perfectly with my FW3C.

I like the tint and the UI.

I guess that I will now have to order some quality 18650 flat tops and an FW3T. And probably an FW3A while I am at it.

They seem to like the Efest high drain batts. There is a good seller or two on Ebay for them.
I have had good service and fast shipping from this guy:

scosgt
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OK, it does not do links

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The link is there, it’s just at the top of your post.

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

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chops728 wrote:
By chance are you using button top cells —-my newest FW3 won’t work with button tops
Nice work suggesting this! Thumbs Up

JetskiMark wrote:
Thank you very much! It works!
Great news! I’m glad your new light is working. It’s very heartening when people remain in good spirits despite a frustrating issue.

Good work researching and trying the troubleshooting suggestions first, and posting your attempts and ideas when asking for help! Thumbs Up

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There aren’t any standards in place for button top lengths, or lithium cells in general, so we do have to take care what battery we use. I think the maximum battery length is 66mm. Button top cells can be hit or miss.

There is no good reason to use high drain cells (unless your trying to measure the highest output possible). These lights get hot really quick by design. If your buying new cells, it might be better to go with high capacity versions.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

scosgt
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I tried to use a Samsung 30Q on one of my FW3’s and it pushed the tail spring so hard it moved the switch assembly out of position. Had to re-set it and use a different battery. The Orbitronics 20 AMP work fine, they are shorter.

JasonWW
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JetskiMark wrote:

I have tried several different unprotected 18650s that are all at a little over 4 volts. They work fine in other lights.

How different were they? All button top?

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

JasonWW
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scosgt wrote:
I tried to use a Samsung 30Q (button top) on one of my FW3’s and it pushed the tail spring so hard it moved the switch assembly out of position. Had to re-set it and use a different battery.

My button top Samsung 30Q worked fine. This is what I mean by there not being standards. Our cells probably had different height button tops added by different companies. Whoever added your button top probably used a slightly taller button then the company that installed my button top. Sick

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

scosgt
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Or maybe it was squished down a bit from screwing it into something

JetskiMark
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Thank you again to everyone for all of your help.

I just ordered an FW3A in raw aluminum and an FW3T in polished. I am fascinated by shiny objects. Both will have the Cree XPL Hi 3D emitters. I also ordered three Samsung 35E cells.

I like the way the FW3T Ti-CU Hybrid looks.

I will have to Lego the copper and titanium components in various combinations to see how that looks. I am thinking a copper head and switch with a titanium body and bezel might be interesting.

I would also be nice if deep carry clips in titanium or copper were available.

A plethora of Trit slots in future versions would be greatly appreciated too.

scosgt
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I am waiting on my raw aluminum. Was supposed to be in this week but no notifications yet

JetskiMark
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JasonWW wrote:
JetskiMark wrote:
I have tried several different unprotected 18650s that are all at a little over 4 volts. They work fine in other lights.
How different were they? All button top?

They were all Panasonic NCR18650A button tops that I already had. I remembered the salvaged flat tops I had after reading the flat top only recommendation.

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scosgt wrote:
I tried to use a Samsung 30Q on one of my FW3’s and it pushed the tail spring so hard it moved the switch assembly out of position. Had to re-set it and use a different battery. The Orbitronics 20 AMP work fine, they are shorter.

30Q flat top works fine in mine. Maybe they used different springs during production?
JasonWW
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cpf_borealis wrote:
scosgt wrote:
I tried to use a Samsung 30Q on one of my FW3’s and it pushed the tail spring so hard it moved the switch assembly out of position. Had to re-set it and use a different battery. The Orbitronics 20 AMP work fine, they are shorter.

30Q flat top works fine in mine. Maybe they used different springs during production?

Scosgt was using button top 30Q.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

sygyzy
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Hi, I am trying to resolve a mystery that I can’t seem to figure out. I ordered a FW3A from Neal and mine came with a blue glow in the dark sheet that is cut out of the optic. This is not a typical plastic “Turboglow” gasket that Neal, Illumn, and others are selling. Instead, it’s just a thin GITD sheet with glow material only on the top part. Is this standard with FW3A’s and do they all come with it. I have not seen any mention of them in reviews or pictures online. Thank you.

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