FW3A Mule and any Mules lens fogging?

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Astr0boy
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FW3A Mule and any Mules lens fogging?

Hi there. Somewhat new to this forum and have only really lurked. Nice to meet you all.

I recently obtained a glow ring, mule conversion from Photon Phreaks and I’m very happy with it so far in so much as it is my first “mule”.

Is it normal for the lens to have condensation on it? I dont believe I’ve ever used the light near water and the seals look intact still (even still have some grease on them) so I dont think it is from water intrusion.

Will the condensation be harmful i.e. moisture corroding the emitter components? Is this normal with other mules style lights? I was considering getting a d4v2 mule from Hank but this condensation thing has made me rethink it.

I apologize if this has been asked before, searching “MULE” just leads you down a well-lit rabbit hole.

Stock photo below:

Edited by: Astr0boy on 07/27/2020 - 17:08
Ozythemandias
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Hey thanks for buying one! Do you have any pics of the issue?

The condensation is unusual, is it possible some moisture or humidity got trapped inside while installing the ring?

You can try removing the lens and ring and letting it air out in a dry environment for a couple hours or a day to let any moisture evaporate. A blow dryer might speed up the process.

 

lightdecay
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Did you simply remove the optic? As far as I know, you cannot take an FW3A and use it without an optic. The optic is responsible for pressing the MCPCB against the host to ensure heat transfer. This will cause the LEDs to overheat.

It does not seem like this setup is safe.

MascaratumB
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lightdecay wrote:
Did you simply remove the optic? As far as I know, you cannot take an FW3A and use it without an optic. The optic is responsible for pressing the MCPCB against the host to ensure heat transfer. This will cause the LEDs to overheat.

It does not seem like this setup is safe.


For the images above, also shown in Ozythemandias thread, the GITD ring seems to be the exact distance between the glass lens and the MCPCB, so the “pressure” doesn’t seem to be an issue. Also, if it has a good amount of thermal paste, I am not sure if heat transfer would be an issue, but I may be overlooking it Oops

About the condensation, can it be related to the type of material of the rings?
I mean, is it silicone or glue + GITD powder?

If the second, maybe the heat of the leds generate some “sweating” on the ring due to its components?

In any case, these seem nice rings for “muling” lights!

lightdecay
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Unless it is pressing firmly against both MCPCB and lens, it might not be. It only takes a tiny gap.

Even if the sizes were sufficient for most rings and flashlights, unless this scenario is accounted for, FW3As with a larger-than-typical distance between MCPCB and lens combined with a smaller-than-typical ring could have issues.

hank
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Quote:
if it has a good amount of thermal paste

Remember, with thermal paste, less is more.

You dab a little on and scrape off whatever can be removed, leaving just enough thermal paste to fill any scratch or unevenness that would result in an air gap between the mating surfaces.

Gorping it on defeats the purpose as thermal paste is not particularly conductive of heat, just a bit more than air. You want to displace all the air, but not prevent metal to metal contact.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=thermal+paste+thick...

If it’s squeezing out around the edges of the board, they just glopped it on and didn’t scrape it off, so there’s way too much behind the LEDs.

But hey, chabuduo.

Ozythemandias
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lightdecay wrote:
Unless it is pressing firmly against both MCPCB and lens, it might not be. It only takes a tiny gap.

Even if the sizes were sufficient for most rings and flashlights, unless this scenario is accounted for, FW3As with a larger-than-typical distance between MCPCB and lens combined with a smaller-than-typical ring could have issues.

The rings are exactly the same height as the Carclo optic it’s intended to replace (measuring to the part of the leg that’s pressing against the MCPCB), I don’t see how you would have the concern now and not with the optic.

MascaratumB wrote:

About the condensation, can it be related to the type of material of the rings?
I mean, is it silicone or glue + GITD powder?

The rings in this batch are made out of HyperGlow by Skur Composites, they use a resin base. This is the same type of material often used as glow gasket/MCPCB covers.

 

lightdecay
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I don’t have any personal experience with the rings, nor do I know to what specifications they are made. It seems that heat could be causing this issue. It is natural that this would be a concern.

If it is pressing against the MCPCB firmly, then the issue might not be heat transfer from MCPCB to the host, but something else.

Astr0boy
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I “preheated” the ring by letting it run on turbo for a second to warm it up before screwing back in the lens and that seemed to have done the trick.

Thanks all for the replies

MascaratumB
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hank wrote:
Quote:
if it has a good amount of thermal paste

Remember, with thermal paste, less is more.

[…]

I should have said “optimal” amount of thermal paste instead, I guess Wink

Thanks for correcting me!

And glad that OP solved the issue Thumbs Up

Quillz
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Glad you resolved the issue. By the way, those mules look awesome!

Quillz

Ozythemandias
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Astr0boy wrote:
I “preheated” the ring by letting it run on turbo for a second to warm it up before screwing back in the lens and that seemed to have done the trick.

Thanks all for the replies

Glad you figured it out, feel free to reach out if I can help with anything else!

 

nobody
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Not to hijack the thread (and I'm glad it was resolved), but this is the first I've heard of this.  Are there any beam shots of the "mule" in action?  I know it won't light up very far, but how wide is the beam and how far might it actually throw?

Ozythemandias
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nobody wrote:

Not to hijack the thread (and I’m glad it was resolved), but this is the first I’ve heard of this.  Are there any beam shots of the “mule” in action?  I know it won’t light up very far, but how wide is the beam and how far might it actually throw?

At close range there’s a distinct three lobed pattern (and on daylight colored rings there’s a hint of the color around the perimeter), once you back it up the spread is so wide it’s difficult to see without intentionally focusing on the peripherals of the beam. This is with the camera and the light both at about 24” and focusing on the center

Otherwise you can just take the optic out of a light and run it (not on turbo or high modes, as is explained in this thread) to get a general idea.

 

Garageboy
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Any long term comments on these mule rings? My friend had one melt in his fw3a and it killed one of the emitters – not sure of he got one of the clones, though

Ozythemandias
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I’ve seen a few melted rings but they were all 3D printed. These are a resin based material and won’t melt.