FWAA goes CRITICAL with H10 flat top Battery

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jon_slider
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I agree that the control ring on the RRT-01 is often too loose from factory.

I take pains to remedy that, so the ring cannot turn unless I do it deliberately

also agree the RRT-01 is a bit Phat, but I forgive that, for the ability to use 18350.

I also prefer the earlier model, it is not as large in diameter, and not as heavy as the 2019 and 2020 models, but beggars cant be choosers, and imo, any RRT-01 is worth the experience of the Rotary UI.

output is the only reason to choose an Anduril light over a Rotary, imo

for my needs a single LED with a focused hotspot is much more efficient, AND has higher LUX on target, than a FWAA

my FWAA set to 200 lumens, has almost 3 times more output than my 80 lumen Novatac,

but the Novatac hotspot is 3x brighter on target (much more efficient power consumption)

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Firelight2 wrote:
I like the RRT-01 too. Specifically, the 2014 edition. I find the 2019 and 2020 versions just a bit too heavy. If only they used an aluminum instead of brass pill.

However, the 2014 RRT-01 isn’t perfect:

  • The ring takes space. While not large, the RRT-01 certainly isn’t the smallest light around for its battery type.
  • I thought the ring was intuitive too. But when I handed my RRT-01 to someone she tried to press on the lanyard ring on the back and wondered why the switch didn’t work.
  • While the ring isn’t likely to accidentally turn on in the pocket, I have had it happen. The ring is loose enough and the knurling grippy enough that just shifting around in my pocket did cause an accidental turn-on. This is disturbing since the 2014 RRT-01 has no low-voltage protection. Still… this only happened to me once, so the chances are very low.
  • Low output. Even when updated with a 2020 RRT-01 driver, the output on an RRT-01 isn’t going to blow your socks off. I wish they had a driver that provided as much output as the RRT-03, but with the UI of the RRT-01.

Overall, I still rate the 2014 RRT-01’s UI as probably the fastest to use and most intuitive out there.


I also find the ring of my RRT-01 just a bit too easy to turn. There is a notable detent for on/off, but with the right swipe pressure against my wrist or something in passing and the ring can turn. So for me, I always do a hard lockout. But… I don’t EDC this light because the FW3A isn’t painfully much larger and it’s totally workable for my needs (plus an 18650 is more versatile than CR123 or 18350). Better tint as well (XP-L HI 3D). I really do appreciate the low light adjustability of the magnetic ring RRT-01. Seriously useful. I really wish Jetbeam had done the Sunwayman design of having a separate on/off switch.

The FWAA looks to be about RRT-01 sized. I’m expecting it’ll be nicer to pocket. I’m just hoping the switch mod is possible to reduce accidental activation… but I’ve been so accustomed to the small twist for lockout, I really won’t mind if I have to resort to that again.

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jon_slider wrote:
for my needs a single LED with a focused hotspot is much more efficient, AND has higher LUX on target, than a FWAA

my FWAA set to 200 lumens, has almost 3 times more output than my 80 lumen Novatac,

but the Novatac hotspot is 3x brighter on target (much more efficient power consumption)

Thanks for the comparison shots, Jonathan. I guess for your needs you use your EDC for more longer range tasks, hence the desire for a focused hotspot?

One thing I do enjoy about the NovaTac 120P is that it has reasonable spill. I just don’t care for the tint… That FWAA tint looks wonderful in comparison. I seems to be just a weaker version of the FW3A. For close range tasks, I enjoy a good rich spill. But if I’m needing to focus on something small and for detail, a concentrated hotspot is certainly preferable. The Lumintop Tool AA should suffice for that, I think.

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To ShyOne, The FWAA is a noteworthy light and if Freeme had a C3PO version aka brass I would’ve been willing to purchase. Even with this experience in my sample. Hopefully that explains how much I like it.

But that being said I wouldn’t trust my sample being in the glove box of my vehicle.

I do want to show my appreciation for all the constructive advice

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xevious wrote:

The FWAA looks to be about RRT-01 sized. I’m expecting it’ll be nicer to pocket. I’m just hoping the switch mod is possible to reduce accidental activation… but I’ve been so accustomed to the small twist for lockout, I really won’t mind if I have to resort to that again.

You’re in luck:
  • The FWAA is much smaller than any version RRT-01. It’s smaller than a Sofirn SP10b. It’s about the same size as an Eagletac D25c! It’s downright tiny. It just vanishes inside a pocket.
  • The o-ring mod that worked for the FW3A also works on the FWAA, using the same size o-rings.
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xevious wrote:
That FWAA tint looks wonderful

yes, there are excellent high CRI LED choices for the FWAA
I agree that the stock LED in the RRT-01 is no match (I tend to forget all mine have High CRI LED swaps)
and the FWAA also costs less.. a lot of bang for the buck

The FWAA is indeed quite small and cute.. it has a lot going for it
notwhitstanding that I find the clip and switch, and Turbo heat, problematic for EDC

I guess both is the best answer Smile

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jon_slider wrote:
xevious wrote:
That FWAA tint looks wonderful

yes, there are excellent high CRI LED choices for the FWAA
I agree that the stock LED in the RRT-01 is no match (I tend to forget all mine have High CRI LED swaps)
and the FWAA also costs less.. a lot of bang for the buck

The FWAA is indeed quite small and cute.. it has a lot going for it
notwhitstanding that I find the clip and switch, and Turbo heat, problematic for EDC

I guess both is the best answer Smile


Yup.

I wish the clip were a bit better on the FWAA. I don’t like the bi-directly clip. It sticks out more, and the reverse lip sometimes gets caught when I fish the light out of my pocket. I’d much rather have a good single-direction clip like the FW3A, Eagletac D25 or RRT-01.

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Firelight2 wrote:
You’re in luck:
  • The FWAA is much smaller than any version RRT-01. It’s smaller than a Sofirn SP10b. It’s even smaller than an Eagletac D25c! It’s downright tiny. It just vanishes inside a pocket.
  • The o-ring mod that worked for the FW3A also works on the FWAA, using the same size o-rings.

Fantastic! Thanks for the confirmation. That switch mod made for a nice adjustment to the FW3A. Nice knowing I won’t have to do a twist lockout on the FWAA (although 4 clicks to put into momentary mode can work as well).
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jon_slider wrote:
yes, there are excellent high CRI LED choices for the FWAA
I agree that the stock LED in the RRT-01 is no match (I tend to forget all mine have High CRI LED swaps)
and the FWAA also costs less.. a lot of bang for the buck

The FWAA is indeed quite small and cute.. it has a lot going for it
notwithstanding that I find the clip and switch, and Turbo heat, problematic for EDC

I guess both is the best answer Smile


Switch mod should fix the touchiness. As for Turbo, haven’t you said in other posts about never really needing full turbo mode, that you tend to use medium & lower modes? If anything, at least you can programmatically set a lower limit. I’ve used full turbo on my FW3A on occasion. Yeah, it can get rather hot. It’s just fine for a momentary use. Having “bigger gun” lights for major throw can serve that purpose for longer sustained beam. The FW3A is a very small size for an 18650… same as a ZL SC64. And while it can work in a front pocket location, it’s nicer to have something smaller there. It’s of course terrific for a jacket pocket.

Firelight2 wrote:
I wish the clip were a bit better on the FWAA. I don’t like the bi-directly clip. It sticks out more, and the reverse
lip sometimes gets caught when I fish the light out of my pocket. I’d much rather have a good single-directly clip like the FW3A, Eagletac D25 or RRT-01.

There’s bound to be a clip floating around out there by another maker that could work, given this size… do you think?
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yes, the FWAA is shorter, and narrower, than the Original RRT-01


74.4mm, 79.5mm


20.2mm, 22.8mm

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xevious wrote:
I guess for your needs you use your EDC for more longer range tasks, hence the desire for a focused hotspot?
I like the beam from a single LED in a reflector. It is targetted, uses less lumens, and even indoors, where most of my use is, I prefer single LED beams.

and yes, outdoors the single LED in a reflector also reaches out farther, than the a triple. The floody optic of the FWAA is very inefficient, it wastes a lot of sidelight lumens. I have to use 600 lumens w the FWAA, to get the same Lux I get with an RRT-01 at 200 lumens.

otoh, the FWAA comes in Titanium, for small money.. its a great little bling light

xevious wrote:
As for Turbo, haven’t you said in other posts about never really needing full turbo mode, that you tend to use medium & lower modes? If anything, at least you can programmatically set a lower limit.
true

I do not want 1000+ lumen, Turbo burn risk, so I use Simple Mode, with a ceiling of 90/150 = 400 lumens on my meter, and a floor of 1/150 = 0.1 lumens.

in Advanced Mode, Turbo cannot be disabled, it is available from Off with 2H, which I consider a pocket burn risk, that requires using the 4 click lockout.

my only need for advanced mode (besides changing floor and ceiling settings), is to access to bicycle flasher for alerting traffic when Im a pedestrian crossing the street (rare)

I dont want any ambient flashing lights, no eCandle, no eLighting…

Deluminator wrote:
I decided to put efest button top back in, and she works flawless again.

It makes me wonder if cell length and pressure on the driver board is playing a sneaky part. In why Flat top H10 isn’t tolerated in my sample

thanks for sharing your experience

I looked up the length specs
efest purple 650mAh: 49.18mm

vapcel H10 1000mAh: 49.4mm

the max length for a FWAA is 50.5, neither is too long.. by specs

So, now that the light is working properly with efest, does the problem come back if you use an H10?

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jon_slider wrote:
…in Advanced Mode, Turbo cannot be disabled, it is available from Off with 2H, which I consider a pocket burn risk, that requires using the 4 click lockout…

Every time I’ve ever had pocket accidental activation with a flashlight, the button becomes depressed and stays that way usually for an extended period.

I can’t imagine a pocket accidental activation happening where the light just happens to do a click+click-hold. As such, I consider the risk that an FWAA in advanced mode will enter turbo like that is basically non-existent.

That said, I do use lockout with my FWAA when in a pocket with my keys because I don’t want it activating and draining the battery.

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I don’t have imgur thing to post pictures yet sorry!

Okay so the protected caliper reads: 50.55mm for 650mah 9.75A purple efest button top. 1.45mm taller than H10

Cheap ebl button top reads, 50.00mm and vapcell H10 Flat top reads, 49.10mm

So maybe the longer efest cell is applying more pressure on the driver and contacts to work without a hitch. Just a theory, but I’m probably wrong. Thank you much for all the help jon_slider

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Firelight2 wrote:
I can’t imagine a pocket accidental activation happening where the light just happens to do a click+click-hold. As such, I consider the risk that an FWAA in advanced mode will enter turbo like that is basically non-existent.

That said, I do use lockout with my FWAA when in a pocket with my keys because I don’t want it activating and draining the battery.

that is reassuring, thanks for your comments

Deluminator wrote:
Thank you much for all the help jon_slider
thank you for your contributions also,

and for starting a very useful conversation, that I had not figured out how to talk about..

The scary FWAA Runaway Ramping to ceiling, with non responsive switch issue, that requires removing the battery.

I have only had FWAA Runaway Ramping happen during assembly, never spontaneously once the light is shut, and in working order. Which is why I would like to think it is only an assembly failure, rather than a sleeping gremlin.

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I’ve used both FT & BT H10 in grey FWAA, no issues. Have a copper on the way so that will expand the sample size.

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Just got my FWAA in copper…
LOVE IT! Gorgeous looking thing.

The size is just wonderful. It’s unfortunate that this means a reduction in heat management. On turbo, the head gets hotter faster than on the FW3A. The 1400lm rating is nice, but not usable for long. But really, for an AA sized light of this mass, I don’t think you can expect much. The fit & finish of this light is superb. The switch is actually pretty good. I can see the chance of accidental activation, but for now just going to do 4 clicks to lock. The clip? I don’t know, despite complaints given seems pretty decent to me.

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ROYCE wrote:
ShyOne wrote:
I have been thinking about getting a FWAA, as I really like the FW3A.

Am I understanding that with some batteries the FWAA works correctly while with some other batteries it does not??

So far that is the case for one user. It does not appear that anyone else has reproduced these results, and I would wager the majority of FWAA owners are using the H10 cells in question.

Edit: If I were you and you want one, I would purchase from Killzone since you appear to be in the US. In the case that you do receive a bad light, their customer service is excellent. I haven’t looked at their stock recently but I know they carry the FWAA.

Thanks ROYCE… That is pretty much what I thought. As with the FW3A, most of the problems are operator error related to assembly.

Thanks for mentioning “Killzone”.. I was not aware of them. ✅

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jon_slider wrote:
ShyOne wrote:
Am I understanding that with some batteries the FWAA works correctly while with some other batteries it does not??

yes, there is a battery length limit
the H10 is not too long

I have had the same issue as the OP, that sometimes when I assemble the light, it goes into Automatic ramp up, and the only way to turn it off is to remove the battery, and reassemble in the correct order, tighten the tail over the clip first. Tighten the head last.

Im dont think the issue the OP had is battery related. As I said, Ive had the same issue, and imo it is an assembly problem..

Thanks jon_slider, that makes sense. Good to know the FWAA, as with the FW3A; most of the “problems” were/are operator error related to assembly.
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Deluminator wrote:
To ShyOne, The FWAA is a noteworthy light and if Freeme had a C3PO version aka brass I would’ve been willing to purchase. Even with this experience in my sample. Hopefully that explains how much I like it.

But that being said I wouldn’t trust my sample being in the glove box of my vehicle.

I do want to show my appreciation for all the constructive advice

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A couple data points.  I've run the H10 flat tops almost exclusively in mine but tried the H10 buttons as well as Rofis and Vapcell gold buttons.  Never had any issues although I am sticking with the flat tops because the buttons just feel too tight in there to me.  I've used the light a ton and love it, never a problem with the switch or runaway turbo. 

That said, I wasn't aware that A2 had this newer safety feature, but sure enough, it does...that's great.  Just tried it on this light and the SC31 Pro and it ramps right back down pretty quickly when the button is held down.  So that should tell us that your light has something else going on, but it's curious that the flats are causing it rather than the buttons...I'd expect it to be the opposite if the button length was stressing the board + contact or other components.  Is it possible that the tube is getting moved a little with the buttons/tail cap is a tad loose?  It doesn't take much.  And this light seems to have had a lot of QC issues with the LED wires and soldering.  Do the wires look well done on the mcpcb and aren't shorting against it through the hole from lack of wire insulation (some pics showed the wires stripped too far and shorted this way)? 

So that said, buddy at work bought one of these after seeing mine, but he bought the H10 button tops for his.  He pocket carries a lot using the clip, and he had a couple issues like this as well.  Turns out that his tail cap was a bit loose even though he knows that's important and only did batt changes at the head.  I wondered if it's possible that the stress from the clip could cause the tailcap to unscrew slightly with repeated use.  Hasn't happened again but we're watching that.  Other than that you just need to be sure that tube is seated all the way before putting the cap on, and then you can do whatever you like with the tightness of the head.

If you haven't already, it wouldn't hurt to disassemble the switch to be sure there isn't any schmoo or metal shavings in there (same for the head while you're at it...plus stray solder splatter). 

Thanks guys for pointing out that new safety feature...had no idea it was there but that was a great addition to the firmware. 

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Avoid Lumintop at all costs, really dangerous lights. All my FW series stick on and ramp to Turbo. Sometimes they won’t turn off even when not sticking.

My 4K Lumen Whore Reviews (MS18, X70, MS12, DX80, X80-GT, X45vn etc) - http://www.youtube.com/c/FLASHAHOLIC_TV

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Never had any problems with them. Maybe user error? Yes, they can behave strange if not properly assembled.

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The_Flashaholic wrote:
Avoid Lumintop at all costs, really dangerous lights. All my FW series stick on and ramp to Turbo. Sometimes they won’t turn off even when not sticking.
Please don’t do that. Really, one person has a problem and then there’s a declaration to avoid a brand completely. It’s not sensible. The FW series has its share of quirks a little above normal, but it’s easily rectified. This is not a mainstream consumer series flashlight, mind you.
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The_Flashaholic wrote:
Avoid Lumintop at all costs, really dangerous lights. All my FW series stick on and ramp to Turbo. Sometimes they won’t turn off even when not sticking.

I have 4 different FW3As, 3 FWAAs, an FW21 Pro, a Tool AA Ti, and an EDC 18. All work fine without the issue you describe.

  • Just because you have had bad luck with the lights you own from a particular manufacturer doesn’t mean that everyone else will experience the same.
  • Go ahead and state what went wrong with your lights. That’s fine. It’s great information that we on this forum want to know.
  • However, you detract from your credibility when you then apparently suggest that every Lumintop light will have the same issues yours did. And the stronger the language you use, the less credible you seem.
  • It might be different if the issues you experienced were design defects and everyone was experiencing the same problem. But that simply isn’t the case.

Another example:

  • Zebralight has a great reputation, but I’ve had terrible luck with Zebras. Something like 8 out of 15 were defective and non-functional either out of the box or after just a few weeks of light use.
  • … but does that mean everyone should avoid Zebralight? No. I still recommend them, because most users have had a great experience with them. And the few Zebras I own that aren’t defective are spectacular lights.

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SammysHP wrote:

Never had any problems with them.

Same here, though I only have two FW3A's and a HL3A so I haven't tried that many Lumintop lights.  :BEER:

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I’ve never had any issues with any of these and it’s only about half of my Lumintop lights.

Every manufacturer will have its issues with quality control, it’s our job to not condem a company based off of a fraction of the user experiences.

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

 

 

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I have NEVER had one problem with any of my Lumintop lights, and I have quite a few.

Most of the “problems” I read about here on BLF with Lumintops lights (especially the FWXX Series) are nothing more than operator error.

People assemble it incorrectly or simply do not know what they are doing and automatically blame the light.

Comical indeed…. Wink

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Don't want to stray too far from OP's specific concern, but while we're on the subject of avoiding or embracing Lumintop as a whole, I have to say that I have personally had three of their fail and have seen four others.  Generally their drivers but one was a switch.  Quality always seems good, but I can't say that I would ever recommend them to anyone to whom reliability was a chief concern, or who perhaps didn't have the skills or interest to investigate or repair.  That said, they normally take care of customers with quick replacements.  I'm currently dancing an email dance with them over a failed driver on their discontinued ODL20C thrower....after much ado they finally sent me one from China but it was completely the wrong thing (probably for the ODF30C or whatever that was).  At this point I'm not sure they will be able to provide the driver even if they are willing (also unsure about that now).  So two years into a five year warranty, maybe kinda stuck.  It's not like Lumintop has premium pricing but they have leaned that direction here and there, and they sure like to proudly advertise the warranty.  If we do pay a little more for the warranty with them, I'm inclined to say go with Convoy or Sofirn where at least you know you'll be able to get great assistance and parts very easily. 

Could be that Lumintop got a taste of success and would like to join the profit margins that Olight and Nitecore, etc, etc enjoy....might explain some of their behavior (but hopefully they realize that their quality isn't quite up to snuff just yet although the lights always look awesome).  If nothing else, don't throw them out with the bath water because they have helped to bring us a lot of nice lights that we asked for.  They seem to be willing to correct as needed even if we don't always agree with the results, so the relationship isn't worth severing, imho.  Then again, some people kinda just need to stay away from lower priced lights if they forget to keep expectations in check. 

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I remember having this issue with my fwaa and an H10, and the issue ended up being solved by some info in this passage. As it turned out, I had unscrewed the tailcap and rescrewed it without holding the light vertical, messing up the button.

——-

Most FW3x issues can be resolved by following these steps exactly as written:

Unscrew the head AND tailcap completely. (Hold the light vertically, head side up, tail side down. )
Check for any metal burrs on the threads.
Clean the threads and contacts with rubbing alcohol, then reapply lubricant to threads. You can skip if the light is new/clean.
Screw on the tailcap & tighten as much as you possibly can (by hand). (Hold the light vertically, head side up, tail side down. )
Screw on the head. (Hold the light vertically, head side up, tail side down. )

Please see the FW3A Troubleshooting Guide for more. (https://budgetlightforum.com/node/66960)

Lastly, see the quickstart & useful information thread here. (https://budgetlightforum.com/node/67058)

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The little FWAA is growing on me. Yesterday I took it out hiking, clipped to my back pocket, not locked out. There were no Runaway Ramping problems. I use an H10 battery.

I have set the ceiling to 90/150, set memory to the lowest 0.1 lumens, (with a 5 minute last mode memory), and I carry in Simple Mode, which does not allow Turbo. I also bent the clip so it is tighter.

When I got home and removed the light from my pocket, it was ON at 0.5 lumens (second step in the ramp). The battery was still above 4v.

I think I need to do the O ring mod to the switch. Wink
(I still refuse to click 4x to lock and unlock)

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