FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ

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JasonWW
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Blackbeard wrote:
Do I need to calibrate the temp(ambient) on the EDC18 like I did on FW3A? Just checking cause it’s a little harder to do the multiple clicks with the side switch & not sure if these are set up already.

Just let it set for a long time so its fully cooled down and do a temperature check. Then you will know.

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Blackbeard
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JasonWW wrote:
Blackbeard wrote:
Do I need to calibrate the temp(ambient) on the EDC18 like I did on FW3A? Just checking cause it’s a little harder to do the multiple clicks with the side switch & not sure if these are set up already.
Just let it set for a long time so its fully cooled down and do a temperature check. Then you will know.

Thanks Jason, I got a good deal on it from amazon, came with a Samsung battery and glow gasket for about $36+tax…couldnt resist even though I’m pretty happy with the FW3A….one more flashlight can’t hurt right? Wink

Danthemanz
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I’m hoping someone can shed some light on my driver issues.
I own about 10 x FWxA lights, all various custom leds.
I’ve ended up with 2 with the same driver/grounding issue.
1 came like this from banggood, I got a refund. The other was OK until I swapped the led board one day and it was broken since. I’ve since removed the driver, run new emitter wires, tried two different sets of mcpcb and leds, and checked the driver ring 100 times.

Basically, the lights are always on. It’s not a switch issue, even without a driver/switch ring installed, the second the battery touches the spring when screwing it in, the leds light up, somewhere above moon.when the switch connected, I can still turn it on, ramp and turbo, but once it’s off there is still power running to the leds.

The one that started doing it by itself I have tried everything within in knowledge/skill base.

Anyone seen this issue before? Only time I’ve had it was a badly sanded e21a board where the mcpcb was grounding in the light. This isn’t the case.

Are the drivers just screwed? I wouldn’t know where to start if I needed resolder components on the driver board.
Anything I should be looking out for?

I plan on buying a number of the buck/boost drivers that Neal apparently will be making in coming months, so eventually I hope to have spare drivers. That said, I’ve got new leds in the way I want to Install, as well as I want to try and fix them to improve my skills – not much to lose.

Thanks in advance!

JasonWW
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Danthemanz wrote:
I’m hoping someone can shed some light on my driver issues.
I own about 10 x FWxA lights, all various custom leds.
I’ve ended up with 2 with the same driver/grounding issue.
1 came like this from banggood, I got a refund. The other was OK until I swapped the led board one day and it was broken since. I’ve since removed the driver, run new emitter wires, tried two different sets of mcpcb and leds, and checked the driver ring 100 times.

Basically, the lights are always on. It’s not a switch issue, even without a driver/switch ring installed, the second the battery touches the spring when screwing it in, the leds light up, somewhere above moon.when the switch connected, I can still turn it on, ramp and turbo, but once it’s off there is still power running to the leds.

The one that started doing it by itself I have tried everything within in knowledge/skill base.

Anyone seen this issue before? Only time I’ve had it was a badly sanded e21a board where the mcpcb was grounding in the light. This isn’t the case.

Are the drivers just screwed? I wouldn’t know where to start if I needed resolder components on the driver board.
Anything I should be looking out for?

I plan on buying a number of the buck/boost drivers that Neal apparently will be making in co ING months, so eventually I hope to have spare drivers. That said, I’ve got new leds in the way I want to Install, as well as I want to try and fix them to improve my skills – not much to lose.

Thanks in advance!


A potential small short sometimes happens under the led when too much solder is used. If the negative pad of the led develops a tiny bit of continuity to the thermal pad next to it, you can get what your describing.

Have you tried swapping that mcpcb for one in another light? That would tell you if the problem is with the led or the rest of the light.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

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Danthemanz
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On the light that “started doing it on its own”, yes I’ve changed the mcpcb and leds entirely, as well as new emitter leads from the driver.

The “factory broken” one I haven’t removed the mcpcb. This light had evidence it had been used in some manner prior to arriving, I got a refund but its a Fw1a and I want to fix it and swap the emitter!
I might remove the board and hook up the emitter wires to a multimeter if I suspect it’s not the same issue on both lights.

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Danthemanz wrote:
On the light that “started doing it on its own”, yes I’ve changed the mcpcb and leds entirely, as well as new emitter leads from the driver.

Okay, so you’ve narrowed it down to the driver. It can be tricky finding a short in a driver. First thing I’d try is clean both sides with a toothbrush and alcohol. You can look over it with a magnifying glass for any solder that looks out of place. Most likely it’s one of the 8 current regulator chips. A tiny percentage of them can short a little. You may have to unsolder them and replace with new ones. It could be the FET leaking, but it’s a harder job to remove it. You typically need hot air.

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AFHE Tech
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I bought an FW3A on Amazon a little over two months ago. This is a new type of light for me and I love it. Everything works except I noticed that now it always turns on at Max Ramp. I thought it was supposed to (and used to) turn on a whatever level it was at when I turned it off. I’ve gone over the Anduril UI (thank you ToyKeeper) and can’t find any reference to setting or locking in the level that it turns on at, although I thought I saw a YouTube video recently that made reference to it. Anyways, I couldn’t find anything in this thread about this problem. Should I just try a Reset? If so, which one, press and hold the switch while screwing the head on or 13 clicks and hold on the last one? Will either, neither or both work?

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If it has the reset feature, it would be 13H. You have manual memory enabled. Turn the light on and do 5H to disable it.

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MtnDon wrote:
Am I the only one who has never had the tailcap off of either of the two FW3A’s that I have?

I opened the first one I had, from the original GB run, just out of curiosity. Never carried it because I hated the switch so much, and traded it for a knife.

For my purple, it was a shelf queen until I opened the tail to do the o-ring mod. Now it sees use and carry time.

Also, it feels like half the FW3As out there need to be opened and fiddled with just to get them working right to begin with.

AFHE Tech
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SammysHP wrote:
If it has the reset feature, it would be 13H. You have manual memory enabled. Turn the light on and do 5H to disable it.

Thanks SammysHP. I turned it on. Then 5H, and it now turns on at the level it was at when turned off. I’m pretty sure that is not in the manual that came with my light. Maybe my light shipped with a new version of Anduril but not a new Manual.

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AFHE Tech wrote:
SammysHP wrote:
If it has the reset feature, it would be 13H. You have manual memory enabled. Turn the light on and do 5H to disable it.
Thanks SammysHP. I turned it on. Then 5H, and it now turns on at the level it was at when turned off. I’m pretty sure that is not in the manual that came with my light. Maybe my light shipped with a new version of Anduril but not a new Manual.
This UI diagram has the manual/automatic memory, and for some reason I also have an easier time reading this one than the normal UI diagram.

I found this on reddit and don’t know the source, sorry!

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Danthemanz wrote:
I’m hoping someone can shed some light on my driver issues.
I own about 10 x FWxA lights, all various custom leds.
I’ve ended up with 2 with the same driver/grounding issue.
1 came like this from banggood, I got a refund. The other was OK until I swapped the led board one day and it was broken since. I’ve since removed the driver, run new emitter wires, tried two different sets of mcpcb and leds, and checked the driver ring 100 times.

Basically, the lights are always on. It’s not a switch issue, even without a driver/switch ring installed, the second the battery touches the spring when screwing it in, the leds light up, somewhere above moon.when the switch connected, I can still turn it on, ramp and turbo, but once it’s off there is still power running to the leds.

The one that started doing it by itself I have tried everything within in knowledge/skill base.

Anyone seen this issue before? Only time I’ve had it was a badly sanded e21a board where the mcpcb was grounding in the light. This isn’t the case.

Are the drivers just screwed? I wouldn’t know where to start if I needed resolder components on the driver board.
Anything I should be looking out for?

I plan on buying a number of the buck/boost drivers that Neal apparently will be making in coming months, so eventually I hope to have spare drivers. That said, I’ve got new leds in the way I want to Install, as well as I want to try and fix them to improve my skills – not much to lose.

Thanks in advance!

I’ve got one fw3a that now displays this same issue. Happened after I shorted the +wire to the shelf like an idiot. I think my best guess was the mcu was the culprit. Never dug into it though as I’m also looking forward to the Lume1 driver

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AFHE Tech wrote:

Thanks SammysHP. I turned it on. Then 5H, and it now turns on at the level it was at when turned off. I’m pretty sure that is not in the manual that came with my light. Maybe my light shipped with a new version of Anduril but not a new Manual.

Correct, Lumintop have updated the Anduril version at least once (compared to launch model).

Launch models did not have manual memory, new models do. I think maybe factory reset was not present on launch models also.

They did not update the included manual. No big deal since only minor changes to UI.

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varbos wrote:
AFHE Tech wrote:

Thanks SammysHP. I turned it on. Then 5H, and it now turns on at the level it was at when turned off. I’m pretty sure that is not in the manual that came with my light. Maybe my light shipped with a new version of Anduril but not a new Manual.

Correct, Lumintop have updated the Anduril version at least once (compared to launch model).

Launch models did not have manual memory, new models do. I think maybe factory reset was not present on launch models also.

They did not update the included manual. No big deal since only minor changes to UI.

Right, except when I inadvertently change a setting that is not in the manual and have to turn to the internet to figure it out. Thank you BLF for your help.

I understand them not printing a new manual, especially if they have a large quantity already printed. Maybe they could include a small slip of paper saying something to the effect of “Anduril UI has been updated, go to this website for the latest features.”

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My FW3A won’t turn on after I let someone use it and trying to unscrew the tailcap.

Battery is fully charged retaining ring seem tight enough.
Clicking or holding down the tail e-switch does not turn it on.

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Have you tried removing the head and loosening then retightening the tailcap, reinsert the cell (it is charged?) And then replace and tighten the head?

Did they just loosen the tailcap a little or actually remove it? If it is a version without the newer tailcap that has the retaining ring they may have lost the little “nub”

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MtnDon wrote:
Have you tried removing the head and loosening then retightening the tailcap, reinsert the cell (it is charged?) And then replace and tighten the head?

Did they just loosen the tailcap a little or actually remove it? If it is a version without the newer tailcap that has the retaining ring they may have lost the little “nub”

Thanks MtnDon

My version is from Mid 2019.
I am not sure what exactly happened to the tailcap but I assume it could have been removed.

Yes I removed the head, tightened tailcap and Yes Battery is charged

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You could try loosening the retaining ring in the tailcap slightly. That helped with a poor contact on an FW3 for a period.

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middle age man wrote:
You could try loosening the retaining ring in the tailcap slightly. That helped with a poor contact on an FW3 for a period.

I loosened it a bit, sofar no joy, it is not turning on, and also no “blink” – battery check on contact. but I appreciate your suggestion,

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caramba wrote:

it is not turning on, and also no “blink” – battery check on contact.

You don’t get the power connected blink? That is a basic function not connected to the switch or inner tube. It’s just battery power going through the tail cap and battery tube to the head. This explains the switch not working. The driver is not getting power.

You will need to start with the basics. Take just the head and attach a battery to it. Then use a wire to go from the battery negative to the exposed threads on the head. Stick the wire end next to the battery to reach the threads.

If too hard, install the battery tube minus the inner tube (we will assume good contact from the head to battery tube) then run your wire from battery negative to the exposed threads on the battery tube.

You should see the power connected blink. If not, there is a problem in the head. Try loosening and then tightening the driver retaining ring. Make sure it’s sitting flat and is centered. Test again to see if it gets power.

If not, remove the TIR lens and make sure the wires to the leds are still attached. If so, the problem might be in the driver which is a bit more complicated to diagnose and requires soldering equipment.

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hank
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Quote:
Try loosening and then tightening the driver retaining ring.

Also, try wiping the threads clean, using a little bit of conductive lubricant (“bulb grease”)
A bit of grit can cause a lot of misbehavior.

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Just a quick warning: “Bulb grease” is not conductive. It is an insulator used to protect electrical contacts from water/corrosion and arcing. The electric connection is made by the contact points between the two objects.

Sadly this misinformation (that bulb grease is conductive and that conductive substances should be used in flashlights) is shared by hank repeatedly in this forum.

Using any kind of conductive substance in your flashlight will cause shorts and other issues at some point.

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SammysHP wrote:
Just a quick warning: “Bulb grease” is not conductive. It is an insulator used to protect electrical contacts from water/corrosion and arcing. The electric connection is made by the contact points between the two objects.

Sadly this misinformation is shared by hank repeatedly in this forum.

Using any kind of conductive substance in your flashlight will cause shorts and other issues at some point.

good to know, thank you for the heads up. I always use bulb grease when changing my car’s headlights. Always assumed it was to keep rain water out, not help with conductivity.

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Artiet59 wrote:
Always assumed it was to keep rain water out, not help with conductivity.

Correct, that’s the main purpose for it. But in some way it also helps with conductivity because it seals all metal surfaces from moisture and air. This prevents corrosion which would cause contact issues.

Depending on the ingredients, bulb grease might be suitable for flashlights. If you want to be on the safe side, use silicone based grease (the cheap stuff works, but you can also buy the expensive Nyogel that has slightly better lubrication and stability properties).

PS: Edited my previous post to make clear which misinformation I meant.

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Just for the record, I thought we’d agreed to disagree about the existence of conductive grease,.
But since you repost the same claim, I’ll repost the response. Google finds a variety of products.

Nyogel is the one that has been recommended for flashlight users for years now. Not all of their products, only the conductive type.

Quote:
Electrically Conductive Greases – Nye Lubricants www.nyelubricants.com › electrically-conductive NyoGel® 756G relies on a proprietary carbon filler, rather than traditional metallic particles, for conductivity. It was designed to be electrically conductive for instrument and bearing applications. NyoGel® 758G is an excellent channeling bearing grease with a volume resistivity of approximately 300 ohm-cm.

and

Quote:
] The 846 Carbon Conductive Grease is an electrically conductive silicone grease for improving electrical connections between sliding surfaces and parts. The 846 grease is designed to lubricate while maintaining good grounding connection. MG Chemicals Carbon Conductive Grease, 80g Tube: Automotive

Of course you don’t want to gorp it on and cause a short circuit, as cautioned above.
Rather, you wipe the threads to clean them (aluminum oxidizes to make that black insulating dirt you see in the threads after a while, that’s what you’re cleaning up)

Let’s not keep repeating this, huh?

“It doesn’t exist and you shouldn’t use it”
“It exists and here’s the reference”

repeating this exchange back and forth isn’t helpful. I“ll just link back to this next go-round rather than retype the references again.

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hank wrote:
Just for the record, I thought we’d agreed to disagree about the existence of conductive grease,.

I don’t think we have agreed, at least I didn’t. I accept that you insist on your standpoint, but I see it as necessary to correct your dangerous advice when I see it.

hank wrote:
Nyogel is the one that has been recommended for flashlight users for years now. Not all of their products, only the conductive type.
Quote:
Electrically Conductive Greases – Nye Lubricants www.nyelubricants.com › electrically-conductive NyoGel® 756G relies on a proprietary carbon filler, rather than traditional metallic particles, for conductivity. It was designed to be electrically conductive for instrument and bearing applications. NyoGel® 758G is an excellent channeling bearing grease with a volume resistivity of approximately 300 ohm-cm.

and

Quote:
]
The 846 Carbon Conductive Grease is an electrically conductive silicone grease for improving electrical connections between sliding surfaces and parts. The 846 grease is designed to lubricate while maintaining good grounding connection.
MG Chemicals Carbon Conductive Grease, 80g Tube: Automotive


I’ve never seen Nyogel 756G or 758G recommended for flashlights. The usual recommendation is 760G:

Quote:
NyoGel® 760G, the universal grease standard for electrical connectors, is specified by leading OEMs across a wide-range of industries. 760G has good fretting corrosion protection, dielectric isolation capabilities, and is also compatible with common connector materials.

https://www.nyelubricants.com/nyogel

hank wrote:
Let’s not keep repeating this, huh?

“It doesn’t exist and you shouldn’t use it”
“It exists and here’s the reference”

repeating this exchange back and forth isn’t helpful. I“ll just link back to this next go-round rather than retype the references again.


I’ve never denied the existence of conductive grease. But it is not relevant for our use cases. And this repetition is helpful because it might protect other people from ruining their flashlights.
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I do have a question about the property of grease used in the threads. As I understand it, anodized aluminum is non-conductive. Electrical current and e-switch signals should be happening within the body via the tube, right? If so, why would I need a conductive grease on the anodized threads of its not meant to conduct any current? Wouldn’t plain lubrication and chemical stability be the priority?

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I think the switch relies on the inner tube for its signals but the outer tube still is used to carry current for the driver.

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hank wrote:
try wiping the threads clean, using a little bit of conductive lubricant

Don’t use conductive lubricant in a flashlight. It’s a quick way to get shorts and leaks which are very difficult to get rid of, and can cause the light to stop functioning correctly.

The type of lubricant needed is dielectric / non-conductive.

It can also be important to make sure the lubricant does not cause the O-rings to dissolve. I forget which types do that, but two safe common types are Nyogel 760G and Super Lube PTFE. Both are dielectric and safe for O-rings. The latter is even food-grade; it’s basically Teflon gel.

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JasonWW wrote:

You don’t get the power connected blink? That is a basic function not connected to the switch or inner tube. It’s st battery power going through the tail cap and battery tube to the head. This explains the switch not working. The driver is not getting power.

Thank you all for trying to help
I connected the head to the battery, the way you described it, I got some sparks initially, smelled some smoke but nothing else. Light is not turning on and no blinks.Then I put on the outer tube, and nothing at all.

retaining rings seem to be tight enough, I didn’t take apart the head yet, I think I need a little different pliers. Dont want to damage the threads

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