TLF/BLF/Lumintop FW3A review (18650, 3x XP-L HI cool white)

Very nice review. Thank you for the information and feedback.

I don’t think anyone is interested in using protected cells. What I am pointing out is the desirability of accomodating unprotected button-top cells, and that’s not going to add a few mm. 66 mm is just borderline, and it shouldn’t be that way.

For example, I’ve bought four 18650 Emisar lights and a Q8. Button-top high-drain unprotected cells were recommended for these lights, so I ordered them simultaneously. I also took advantage of a sale or two to get spares, and now I have accumulated quite a collection. And they also work in EVERY other one of my (too-vast) collection of 18650 flashlights and headlamps. Until now.

It doesn’t make much sense that the FW3A designers, to save maybe 1% in overall length, would deliberately abandon the versatility of using BOTH standard configurations of unprotected cells. It seems this was just a terrible oversight that, despite some discussion, has literally fallen through the cracks.

As it is, until I purchase special cells to accommodate this ONE light, the only thing I have on hand that will fit may be laptop pulls.

But it hasn’t always been “too late”. How long has this thing been in the works? I’m a fairly new poster on here, and I only became aware of this project several months ago, but I’ve been questioning the potential battery-fit issue since I first read about it. Surely others noticed sometime in the past two years? Somehow we’ve just decided to accept an “afterthought” mechanical design because the rest is cool.

Yes, I’m planning to buy one, but I’ll always think about how the versatility is crippled for lack of a millimeter.

If accommodating button-tops would suddenly make flat-tops lose contact, I’d expect problems with my Emisars, Nitecores, and Zebralights. But these digest both configurations without a hitch. Probably the only thing needed for the FW3A would be to lengthen the springs as well as the tubes. Just copy the Emisar’s battery-compartment dimensions.

I tried a cell 66.8 mm long in my production sample, and it worked fine.

@ funkychateau…. You do realize the FW3A is selling now don’t you? It is to late for should-a, wood-a, could-a…. it is done & “it is fit”. :wink:

There are plenty of batteries that will fit this light & it is in no way, as you mentioned; “crippled” if some batteries don’t fit.

There are many lights that not all cells will fit. The Fireflies E07 is but one example. Just because every cell will not fit every light does not necessarily make a light ‘bad’.

Wrong thread hatman. Go here: FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight - SST-20 available, coupon codes public

But do it quick, it has been reported that in a bit less than a day the list will close.

The universal approach is by good short cells, e.g. 30Q and solder blob them in case.

That’s great! So 66 is not really the max!

Yep, I’m waiting for my code… I would have opened the battery discussion two years ago, but I wasn’t here. Just surprised no one else thought of it.

Maukka, can you provide the inner diameter of the clip? Want to see if the Ti surefire clip on prometheus lights’s website can fit.

Zebralight doesn’t really support button top cells. Even if you can cram it in there, the current pogo pin configuration often won’t make contact with the terminal.

ToyKeeper measured the OD of the body section it’s around at 22.9 mm.

Clip id is 23,1 mm

Funkychateau, the triple FW3A was designed to be a poor mans custom hot rod, it was known from the get-go that a protected cell would not power it to design specs so it was not taken into consideration to make it accept these lesser performing cells.

The Dodge Demon Hellcat doesn’t come with back seats. By design. for those that want it for it’s maximum power delivery this is perfect, for those that want back seats there are other models. :smiley:

My ZL SC-600 II works equally well with flat and button tops. It even works with several varieties of protected button-tops. Perhaps there are other models that don’t.

My point was that’s it’s simple to accommodate both flat and button-top (unprotected) batteries in a single design. I don’t think anyone would dispute that the D4/D1 series does this nicely.

Those are the old style. Newer ones such as the SC64c (even with its tailcap spring) can’t fit a button top battery. Just tested with a 66.3mm long 30Q.

Dale, I don’t follow this “protected” line of reasoning. Most protected cells would be electrically inadequate, so why would anyone bother trying to accommodate them? I know I’ve never argued for such, and I doubt anyone else has either.

It has been a non-coffee day due to some intricate modding I needed to do this morning… apparently I misunderstood your argument. Sorry.

I hope it hasn’t come across as being too argumentative. All I’ve really been doing is asking why the tube and springs shouldn’t have been made a small increment longer to guarantee that both common styles of unprotected high-drain cells would work. Like the Emisar flashlights, for example.

I know the design is finalized. I have my order code. At this point, I’m just bantering with folks who keep explaining to me why they considered accommodating both battery styles to be such a bad idea two years ago, LOL!

Yeah but still