FW3A mod thread. Post yours!

The problem that I’ve heard about is that the nickel layer on the HL AAA is extremely thin, since it’s using an electroless nickel process, meaning it’s not a very durable plating.

A real thick nickel plating would be much tougher and thicker, but way more expensive as there are many more steps involved.

This is my favorite one, very cool mod! The clip was well done, not sure if I’d want the tail cap in the same finish as the rest. But either way, very nice flashlight.

Thank you very much… it was alot of work. After bead blasting I used a Red Scotch Brite pad, then 600/800 emery paper, plus 3 different polishes by hand and I’m still not very happy with it. I have a couple Surefire lights that were the same way, I just got to keep after it. I have some Tripoli Brown and Red Rouge coming soon, so we will see how that go’s! :smiley:

anything I missed?

should fit, I am not super confident the MCPCB solder points fit excactly as I can only guess from pictures, while I have the measurtements from the optic

Looks good Lexel!

One suggestion: It looks like you designed this board to fit the 20mm star that comes with the FW3A, which is great.

However, it might also be a good idea to design it so this board also fits standard Noctigon 20mm triple stars. That way it can be used in many more lights, since Noctigon stars are easy to get. To make it fit Noctigons you would need another hole for a driver wire though, somewhere near where the “L” in “Lexel” is on the board.

updated for Noctigon should fit?

All the inner bondwire pads on the Noctigon are for the + wire. All the outer pads are for the negative wire. Your board might need a wire hole further out to line up with one of the negative wire pads?

Looks like if you made a second hole right above the “T” in TLF then it should work.

I notice Vinh has his FW3Avn thread up on CPF. Looks like he’s modified them with Oslon white flat and Nichia 219B. And he also made one into a quad using a modified Carclo quad optic.

No waaaaay….and i still didn’t get my shipping info!!!

My experience has been 0.0003” e-nickel or thicker is reasonably durable, and cost scales nearly linearly with thickness.

Yeah, 0,0003” nickel is durable.

However, at 7 microns, that means the part must have spent ages in the bath to form such a layer without electricity.

I think I’d rather just get a Titanium FW3A. That way if I drop it I don’t have to worry about nickel plating coming off.

Man I asked the other night about converting to Quad :smiley:

It’s very close to being able to fit. If I find a way to very slightly reduce the outer diameter of the optic (without damaging it), eliminating the glass lens and adding a spacer under the MCPCB could be enough.

Maybe if I sacrifice one quad optic and press it into some epoxy puddy that’s inside a cardboard tube, remove the optic, and let it cure maybe I can chuck it in a lathe and take ~0.5mm off the radius. I’ll try that I guess…

Do you have a Live Center for your Lathe? I cut a 20mm pocket in a piece of round stock to fit the quad board snugly, popped the optic on and run the Live Center up to the optic with a piece of thick rubber between the optic and live center, locked the tail stock and ran the center up to hold everything together,with just enough force to hold while turning the chuck, then locked the tail stock quill. No crazy RPM and be cool with the tool pressure, that plastic cuts very easy.

Great tip KawiBoy. Thanks!

I don’t have a lathe of my own but I have access to them at work. We do have live centers. I’ll try this tomorrow maybe. I was initially concerned about the torque/shear applied to the legs would break them. :beer:


If the diameter only has to be reduced by .5mm I am a bit relieved, thought it would be a tighter fit and 2mm had to go.

But why would the lens have to go and/or the addition of a spacer? According to Carclo specs the triple and quad have the exact same height. Or is there a difference in quad/triple MCPCBs? I am at work and can’t measure at the moment; my memory tells me they are both 1.5mm (I could be wrong)?


For those without access to a lathe. I draw a circle with a fine felt tip pen and a drawing template. Remove the material outside the circle with a bench grinder (big wheel, fine grain). Put a light on the brim of your baseball cap for better vision. Firm grip but low pressure does the trick with plastics.

Or you can do it the way I’d do it:

Sit down at your desk with a handfile and some music and start grinding. Shouldn’t take more than an hour to grind the star and optic to a suitable size.

It’s not very efficient or fast, but it is cheap and easy. I’ve ground down many stars over the years by hand this way and never had any trouble keeping them centered.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dalex-2-Way-Mount-Adjustable-Size-4-25-4-75-Wide-Folding-Knife-Sheath-Pouch-/323241571760. Vertical or HORIZONTAL nylon belt pouch. This should be a perfect size for this light. It looks like the label is simply sewed on and should come off easily. Not many left. Raine Inc makes a “deluxe knife sheath” in a few different sizes and one of them might work also but there are not many other choices for horizontal carry. Light and pouch enroute.