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Thread: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

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  1. #1

    Ooo 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp


    Have I found a 'secret' method to activate a 3-minute auto-off behavior for Photon Freedom Micro, and also for the new Photon Rex (rechargable 4-LED keychain light)? All web posts I've seen so far about this (even from Photon staff) say an auto-off mode is not available on the Freedom -- are these posts wrong? (Note: what I've seen does _not_ seem to be the 10-second, no-flashing, Point-of-Sale (POS) mode.) Can anyone else replicate the below on their own Photon lights, and/or tell me where I should have been looking to learn this or other 'secret' Photon features/firmware Easter-eggs?
    = Activate Auto-off: =
    1. Enter Signal/Morse-code mode by rapidly pressing button 4 or more times in succession. (button should act as momentary-on for any press < 2.5 seconds)
    2. Press and hold button. Continue to hold after light turns off; continue holding until after light emits a short flash, then release button . (No hurry, you can wait many seconds after you see short flash to release button)

    = Use Auto-off: =
    3. After step 2,, light will be in normal (Continuous) mode with Auto-off activated. Turn ON light with either short button press (straight to full brightness) or press-and-hold for ramp-up from dim to full-brightness. (Can then also ramp-down to a lower brightness, and/or advance to a flash or SOS mode)
    4. Around 2 minutes, 50 seconds after ON, light will blink once, then begin slow dimming ramp. Ramp is about 10 seconds for full brightness, shorter for dimmer
    5. Around 3 minutes, 0 seconds after ON, light will reach 'off' in the dimming ramp.

    = Deactivate Auto-off: =
    (enter and leave Signal mode)
    6. Enter Signal mode by rapidly pressing button 5 or more times in succession.
    7. Press and hold button until light goes off, then release button. (e.g. do not wait the extra seconds for 'blink')
    (engage 'smash' protection)
    8. From off, press and hold button about 40 seconds, until light cycles through modes a few times, then turns off. Release button.
    9. Other methods???

    Dimming ramps seem to be from the current brightness setting.

    The flashing and SOS modes will also auto-off -- so this 'secret feature' could be a safety hazard if it is active one is in expecting light to signal or summon help for hours/days unattended. I hope that in my next emergency-beacon-requiring situation that I remember to deactivate auto-off..

    Note also that this is still not a perfect 'lock-out' to prevent unintentionally draining batteries when light is in pocket or bag and not in Signal mode. Battery drain could still happen with a 40-second 'smash' (deactivates auto-off) followed by single press (turns on light; stays on until battery drained or user notices). But this seems much lot less likely than the normal path to battery drain: a single press. Also less likely to happen than the beats the 3 second press, single press condition required to drain batteries from Signal mode.

    Above works for both my years-old Photon Freedom, and my days-old Photon Rex. Worked across multiple turn-ons as long as I stayed away from Signal mode.

    I just noticed this last night, so not sure how long auto-off stays activated if one does not deactivate it-- for example, could deactivate after given amount of wall-clock time, number of turn-ons, or auto-offs, or after other press combinations/functions, or battery change (likely) or recharge. Maybe if can find some time to experiment...

    Let me know if this works for you, or if I just have some weird lights....


    Last edited by bazzers; 12-12-2007 at 06:54 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    Yes, you've found a hidden feature. The auto-shutoff has been built into the chip for some time (a couple years I think), but is not an advertised feature. I'm not certain, but I believe there was some legal issue with advertising the auto-shutoff feature, so it was just left as a hidden 'easter egg' feature. To my knowledge, you're the first person to discover this secret auto shut-off mode. Congratulations. :-)
    Bryan Avery
    PhotonLight.com: Photon LED flashlights, Leatherman tools, PowerEx batteries/chargers & more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    Wow, if you're the first to find, quite a post #3 on CPF. Welcome bazzers.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Gloucester, New Jersey

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    Nice find bazzers. Now I'm wondering what other hidden features are out there that we're unaware of. I'm assuming you know of the 50% brightess/power trick, correct?
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    WOW.... simply WOW !...

    Great find Bazzers...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    nothings happening......im actually scared that it will overheat...lol..too much time around crees..
    oh well, it needs new batteries anyway....


    EDIT: about 30 seconds later...

    UBER COOL!!!!
    lol i love how Photonlight confirmed it straight away....the freedom circuitry really is marvelous, probably the best UI we've seen

    PS: Bryan (Photonlight) was wondering, is your job by any chance to watch CPF for photonlight and alert them to anything concerning it, sounds like a fun job...? or are you the owner of photonlight?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Atlanta, Ga.

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    How long do you have to wait for the "flash" after putting into SOS mode, then holding button down till it shuts off? I have held it for 2 min and no flash.

    I think this would be a great feature to have. Good find.

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8

    Default Re: 'secret' Photon auto-off mode? Freedom and Rex; 3 min. w/ ramp

    Not having auto-off was one of the primary complaints against the Freedom. There goes the weakest link. This light has been on my neck for two years now, this new feature will come in handy for my kits and bag strap lights. It also got me drooling for a ReX and Proton.
    Last edited by AlexSchira; 12-13-2007 at 04:24 PM.

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