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

I’m anxious to have the flashlight. :smiley:

First he asked for help here, then ISTR you gave him a lead.

Then IIRC he basically brusquely told you that he had it sorted and didn’t need your help. Instead of a polite thank-you. Charming.

Now it seems he did nothing.

(I may have mis-remembered the details, but that was the gist).

Now the latest surprise that sourcing the Carclo optics is proving a problem. Doh!

They could always call Carclo in the UK and ask to source them direct, or ask them for leads to serious suppliers who have them or can get them. Even just scrape a handful together to get things moving, and final final, very much final production standard prototypes sent to the key people for a final confirmation, using the real final LEDs, not just the random ones scraped together so far to get something out to a handful of key people.

Once you are at proto 5 with some things still not quite right, you have to question whether things will converge, or basic competency. Or look on the bright side, and hope that it will be absolutely perfect, the best thing ever.

Rare, IME.

The cautious may still delay ordering until user feedback appears from early adopters, the more eyes the better. Paid dividends for Q8 buyers, after Wim bravely stopped the line on the first batch, and insisted many things unexpectedly done wrongly by the manufacturer doing their own thing were fixed before the second run.

I’d have been gutted to get one from the first run.

Hopefully distribution and interest list management will run more smoothly than previous efforts from Lumintop. Doubtless that is all in place and will run like a smoothly oiled machine, lessons having been learned.

Procurement/buying seems not to be a strong point here. Last minute efforts, broken promises, unexpected surprises. It’s not as if they haven’t had all the time in the world to get their ducks in a row and push the buttons in good time. Lack of commitment, or just incompetence, or attempted penny-pinching.

Basic stuff, once a supplier gets a hint that you are desperate, and there are few if any others, naturally the price goes up for rare parts. Consequences of dithering, failure to commit, or not having a long-standing ongoing relationship.

Very disappointing, and dare I say unprofessional. Asleep at the wheel. Had hoped for better.

What will be the next surprise/excuse ?

Rant off.

I think 5 prototype builds might be overkill. The impression I got was all they needed to do to fix the latest build was make sure the cut for the driver was wide enough for the driver. Do that and it should be ready.

Sourcing several thousand Carclo optics for a manufacturing run is not the same thing as you or I going onto a parts shop and buying a few optics. I assume this is a problem that will get fixed in the near term.

Entirely predictable and should have been managed.

Carclo, or others, don’t have machines and moulds standing idle just waiting for orders, they predict demand (probably minimal) for these optics, maybe run a small batch once a year, in a day, to supply distributors who have committed to purchase them.

Moulds also wear out, and decisions are taken whether to bother re-making them or just obsolete the product.

Customers with a good relationship are given notice of these decisions, and offered e.g. “last time buys” to stock up.

Not saying this is the case here, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Carclo could explain what’s going on, if contacted properly.

Meanwhile their machines are dedicated to their serious business, e.g. streetlights, factory and warehouse luminaires etc. R+D, that brings in the big money.

If they have a big order for these keeping them busy, the esoteric little old small margin small volume things won’t be considered.

Another thing: I think the most popular of these Carclo triple optics is the narrow spot 10507. But for this light, the designers opted to use a different Carclo optic with wider beam and frosted front. It is possible that the supply of the optic they chose is much more limited.

At this point I’d rather they just release the light using whatever emitters and optics are available. If I don’t like the emitter or optic I’ll swap in different ones on my own.

You seem so eager to rant that you even “confuse” the names! Barry is from Sofirn… :arrow_right:

Yes, I wondered about that.

Is it not Neal ? (enough said…). I was particular not to name names, being unsure. It was BSM who named Barry, presumably incorrectly.

No, Neal is working in this project with Lumintop; Barry is from Sofirn.

Also, to frame this, I will quote from here:

And honestly, I guess we don’t need to get into more details! The things that are missing will be probably solved (leds, optics), taking more or less time. All that helps finding solutions in articulation with Lumintop and the team, is probably welcome. More than that…I believe not so much, specially considering our inherent expectation (or delusion, in some cases).

tatasal and ToyKeeper are keeping us updated when possible!! It is better to let them bring the news than speculating and throwing stones to the Universe! :arrow_right:

Well, whatever the story, it seems that Neal did not secure the supply from his different supplier, for whatever reason. Who knows who let down whom.

Bottom line is that they are not yet available for the first FW3A build, so we’ve been told. Leading to disappointment.

BTW, why is a middleman (Neal) dabbling in procurement ? Surely that’s the job for Lumintop professional buyers. Where and how has he inserted himself here, and is his continued presence conducive to progress ?

Give the buyers a signed-off Bill of Materials (BOM) and let them do their job. Should have been committed many months ago. LEDs, driver components, MCPCB, optics. all critical items.

The driver design, optic and LED choice were determined months ago, and have not changed. Just refinement of the mechanical parts.

I think BlueSwordM helped Sofirn find emitters for the BLF Lantern.

Regarding optics, Digikey has thousands of the 10507 in stock, but as was noted upthread, it produces undesireable artifacts with at least the XP-L HI.

They’ve only got a couple hundred of the 10511, but say it can be ordered with an 8 week lead time:

Mouser has around 1000:

Arrow has only 26, but BLF members should keep in mind Arrow has free shipping:

Off topic, but it’s interesting that a simple 4 mode twisty that had an unimpressive max output even by the standards of 6 years ago did so many things right that it is still worth comparing to one of the most anticipated lights today.

I’ve lamented this before, but I still wish L3 had put the effort into figuring out how to make their lights more robust, instead of just fading away.

Interested for 1, please!

Thank you iamlucky13. Any decent buyer should have found those in a few seconds. And more.

Tired of these delaying excuses.

Well Tom Tom,
since you seem to have all the answers, why don’t you just build your own Group Buy flashlight in like 30 days since it is so easy?
We’ll wait.

Peace Out

Thirty days is too long.

One week perhaps? :beer:

One thing we should all keep in mind: The wait may be frustrating, but it it is well worth it if it results in a superior light.

Give me two years (and counting) and I’m quite sure I would be years further forward. Onto MK IV. In my business (Aerospace) 6 months is a long time, for very complex stuff. In F1 2 weeks is enough for big redesigns, testing, manufacture, back for the next race.

This slow pace, and dilletantism, is mind-numbing. I suspect some enjoy the process far more than the satisfaction of a result, and would prolong things indefinitely, if not restrained.

Still don’t know why I bother with torches, they are such simple things, hardly a challenge.

Meanwhile our suppliers want to get on quickly, make their sales, move on, improve their offerings, do business, continuously improve, improve their lives.

Seems not to be be understood here any more, the drive seems to have gone, and it’s left to a handful of fuddy-duddies to try to keep the flame alive, at their slow pace, and with their conservative attitudes, stuck in their furrows, basking in their fan club plaudits.

Real innovation here ? Show me some from the last few years.

Not volunteering to have another go, having participated in teams twice, interesting but exhausting, frustrating thankless, no concept by others of how to run an efficient tight programme, and unappreciated by the masses.

Other good people I used to work with have just withdrawn for their own reasons. As have I.

Cherish the very few that you have left.


Given your experience and wise advice you don’t seem to practice what you preach.

Don’t mind Sharpie Tom Tom. He just really likes to complain and argue. Even got banned for it, but he eventually made a new account. He has been stirring up trouble on BLF for three years now, since around the end of 2015.

If I understand correctly, he’s part of the reason why the “Report” button was added. (originally called the “Rude!” button)

As our admin wrote and reiterated

Thank you for confirming my suspicion, TK.
I enjoy listening to opposing viewpoints at times, and I appreciate knowledge and perspectives that I don’t have, but wow, talk about glass half empty…