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Thread: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

  1. #1
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    Default GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    I just became the proud owner, today, of a GatLight V3 Tuxedo flashlight and I was hoping some other GatLight V3 users would be able to answer some usage questions.

    1. With the light off and set for the lowest dimmable position (let's call this Zero degrees) and then after you click your light on and start rotating the knob (CCW, with light pointed away from you and the knob facing yourself), does it seem that you only reach maximum brightness (fresh duracell 3V primary lithium cell installed) at around 270 degrees?

    2. From Zero to about 180 degrees the light stays fairly dim but then from 180 to 270 degrees the light VERY quickly ramps up to max brightness. Is this normal behavior? Or should the ramping being more linearly spread from Zero to 270 degrees?

    3. With a RCR123 cell installed, the GatLight seems to reach maximum brightness at around 330 degrees of rotation. Is this normal? With the knob rotated that far out, do I have to worry about it falling out? It seems very loose at this point, i.e. pressing on the on/off switch causes the brightness knob to wobble a bit in the threads -- is this behavior okay?

    4. I've cleaned the threads as described here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...&postcount=881

    but when I rotate the brightness knob the light seems to "pulse" from it's current brightness back down a significant amount. Again is this normal behavior? For example from Zero, I turn to 90 degrees fairly rapidly and the GatLight will ramp up in brightness but then it will fairly quickly drop noticeably dimmer, almost as if I had only turned the knob to only 45 degrees.

    5. Does Lumencraft still offer to send out the correct grit sandpaper to self-polish the 12 Titanium rods in the GatLight? I have noticed the long scratches on the rods as described in the same thread from above about cleaning your GatLight (post #886).

    Thanks in advance for your collective expertise.

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Moved to 'Lumencraft' sub-forum.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Thanks for moving this post to the correct sub-forum. I wasn't sure if it was okay to start new threads in the Lumencraft section or not. It seemed that most of the threads here were started by Lumencraft themselves, hence my original location of LED Flashlights.

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    Flashaholic Stan671's Avatar
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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    I've only seen or worked with one Gatlight V3, so I don't have a good sample set. I noticed that the brightness changes were not linear and a bit "scratchy". And the brightness changes if you just press in the rim of the knob.

    I just figured all of this was a quirk of the way they the mechanism works. Twisting the knob puts pressure on the minus side of the battery which moves the battery against a spring. The plus side of the battery pushes on a rod that moves a variable resistor. This is quite a lot of things that have to move over a very short distance to affect brightness.

    Are you using the original battery that was in it when I sent it to you? Perhaps try a different battery? Friction in the battery case can manifest itself as an uneven brightness control.
    Stan Dobrowski

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Using a fresh CR123a cell for my testing. I've also tried a freshly recharged RCR123 cell just to see how much brighter that overdrove the led. None of that mattered, as all the situations stayed pretty much exactly the same.

    I've noticed all the quirks you've described with the brightness control, pushing on the rim of the knob, etc. I even noticed that in any other brightness configuration other than absolute min or max that clicking the light off and then back on does NOT restore the same brightness settings. Usually the light goes a bit dimmer following an off/on click cycle, but only for the 1st off/on click cycle (so the light doesn't keep getting dimmer, but only dims a bit the first time after adjusting the brightness knob).

    Overall the light is still very impressive, but I'm beginning to think this particular light could use a bit of tweaking from Lumencraft to address some of these concerns/issues that I have or maybe as you say this is the way the V3 is supposed to work.

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    Flashaholic Stan671's Avatar
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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Other Gatlight V3 owners and/or the manufacturer will need to chime in here to let us know if this light is activing differently from typical.
    Stan Dobrowski

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    I read from another user here that Lumencraft has a repair or warranty facility now in California - the issue with uneven or brightness ramping back a bit from where it is upon rotation can apparently be easily fixed with a trip to Lumencraft. If you read the Gatlight thread on the V3 you'll see all the info you seek I believe.
    There is no important work, there are only a series of moments to demonstrate your mastery and impeccability. Almine

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by matrixshaman View Post
    I read from another user here that Lumencraft has a repair or warranty facility now in California - the issue with uneven or brightness ramping back a bit from where it is upon rotation can apparently be easily fixed with a trip to Lumencraft. If you read the Gatlight thread on the V3 you'll see all the info you seek I believe.
    The Gatlight thread on the V3 is over 30 pages long. I think I have read most of it by now but I still haven't found the particular information that you are referring to, specifically the address of the warranty facility in California. I also haven't seen a posting in that thread discussing the ramping back problem, but it is late and I'm probably too tired and have missed the relevant posts. I think I would like to send my light back to Lumencraft if they have a repair facility in the USA, now and they deem this to be a fixable problem rather than by design. I suppose I could always just leave a post on the Lumencraft web page but I was hoping for a little more feedback from other GatLight V3 users or from mobile1 on this forum before I went that route.

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Sorry I don't know the exact info and I'm in such a time crunch with a huge project I don't know if I could find it for you but a recent seller of a Gatlight had in his ad on CPFM some relevant info but you'd probably need to PM him to find the location he returned his to. I can't remember more but if I come across it I'll let you know - it's been within the last month so a search of CPFM may come up with it. Writing Lumencraft would also be a good idea I think. Good luck and let us know how it turns out and any address info.

    Okay I found the member who said he sent in his light to California - CPFM member : LLCoolBeans and I have PM'd him for more info.
    Last edited by matrixshaman; 05-01-2008 at 10:39 AM.
    There is no important work, there are only a series of moments to demonstrate your mastery and impeccability. Almine

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    hi there thanks for writing and sending me a note with a link to this thread. Ok lets take a look.

    1-Max brightness at 280 degrees? I am not sure if I understand this question.
    Each light is a bit different because of different Vf voltages, however what you describe is what the version I have in front of me does.... about max brightness at 270 degrees.

    2. From Zero to about 180 degrees the light stays fairly dim but then from 180 to 270 degrees the light VERY quickly ramps up to max brightness. Is this normal behavior? Or should the ramping being more linearly spread from Zero to 270 degrees?
    Well same here again every light is a little bit different. The light does not use a digital way of brightness control it's more an analog - though very sophisticated - mechanism - and likely the smallest one out there. In regards to how fast the brightness changes happen it can be a bit different from unit to unit. However generally as you rotate light will increase in the lower levels slower.... then as you keep rotating bightness levels increases faster (also the case with my unit). It can be that yours is a bit more prounounced and we've seen that lights can be a bit different in this regard. But your observation that the brightness change is not exactly linear is correct.

    3. With a RCR123 cell installed, the GatLight seems to reach maximum brightness at around 330 degrees of rotation. Is this normal? With the knob rotated that far out, do I have to worry about it falling out? It seems very loose at this point, i.e. pressing on the on/off switch causes the brightness knob to wobble a bit in the threads -- is this behavior okay?

    Well several questions here. Yes it is correct, for use with RCR123 please read the faq on our website to see what to watch out for. The one more thing regarding falling out RCRs, my guess is that you probably have one of the chinese ones that are quite a bit longer then the specifications for this battery type. We design our lights to work with batteries that are at least somewhat within the specifications of a battery. I suggest to use a less long RCR123 battery - try powerizer's RCR123 - and the knob won't stick out anymore. Also we've seen that many of the longer Chinese batteries are questionable in regards to their protection circuitry (don't know where you got your RCRs from). An RCR battery should basically be about as long as a CR123 just put them next to each other.
    So wobbling should disappear once you use normal length batteries. However we purposely make our threads fairly lose, so the button rotates more smoothly and you actually also get another function - momentary higher brightness. If you hold the light set at a lower level, then push the knob on the metal ring (not the button) you'll notice a momentary brightness increase function.
    Of course if you use longer batteries you'll notice that wobbling is too much.

    4) Small initial pulse when increasing brightness level.
    The reason for this has to do with the way our driver is designed. When you increase brightness the LED ramps up the mA... this energy draw causes the battery voltage to drop for which the driver compensates by demanding even more current, then when a level is achieved for a fraction of a section the opposite is happening. Again here each light is tiny bit different where this effect happens a bit more or less noticable. Our guess is that the lights with slightly more efficient LEDs or lower Vf this seems a bit more prounounced because of the higher brightness.
    Now however if that drop in brightness is signficant which might be the case in your light... that is not normal in which case we'd want to take a look at the driver sandwich. Would it be possible for you to take a couple second video clip and email it to my address (I'll reply to your email) or/and make a guess on how much less bright the light is after the drop compared to the pulse? % guess is ok.

    If it is more then a small drop I'll tell you how to remove the driver sandwich and then mail it back to us... or you can send the entire light if you want and we can do the scratch at the same time.

    Lubrication: our current protocol for lubrication is all lubricants removed then just a drop of nyogel (u can get it at lighthound.com) onto the Oring provides the smoothest operation. However if you end up sending in the light we can do that at the same time..so I'd wait.


    Scratch do we still provide sandpaper: Yes we do, however if you end up sending in the light to us we could take care of that at the same time.

    Anyway hope that answers your questions and no worries we'll get your light back to working perfectly again...

    BY THE WAY-if anyone is selling a Tux, let us know (contact form on our webpage), we're sold out uf those and don't make more and we've had people contact us interested to buy one.
    Same is true for V2-Titaniums and all V1 lights... - and once we deliver the v3 driver upgrade for v2 likely also for the other v2 versions.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    Questions #1 and #2 and their answers are great info to know. Thanks for the reply. I now understand better how the light is supposed to work and I'm not so concerned about those two questions anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by mobile1 View Post
    ...
    3. With a RCR123 cell installed, the GatLight seems to reach maximum brightness at around 330 degrees of rotation. Is this normal? With the knob rotated that far out, do I have to worry about it falling out? It seems very loose at this point, i.e. pressing on the on/off switch causes the brightness knob to wobble a bit in the threads -- is this behavior okay?
    Well several questions here. Yes it is correct, for use with RCR123 please read the faq on our website to see what to watch out for. The one more thing regarding falling out RCRs, my guess is that you probably have one of the chinese ones that are quite a bit longer then the specifications for this battery type. We design our lights to work with batteries that are at least somewhat within the specifications of a battery. I suggest to use a less long RCR123 battery - try powerizer's RCR123 - and the knob won't stick out anymore. Also we've seen that many of the longer Chinese batteries are questionable in regards to their protection circuitry (don't know where you got your RCRs from). An RCR battery should basically be about as long as a CR123 just put them next to each other.
    So wobbling should disappear once you use normal length batteries. However we purposely make our threads fairly lose, so the button rotates more smoothly and you actually also get another function - momentary higher brightness. If you hold the light set at a lower level, then push the knob on the metal ring (not the button) you'll notice a momentary brightness increase function.
    Of course if you use longer batteries you'll notice that wobbling is too much.
    I'm using an Ultrafire RCR123. A duracell primary C123 cell is 34mm in height and the gray Ultrafire is 35mm in height.
    Quote Originally Posted by mobile1 View Post
    4) Small initial pulse when increasing brightness level.
    The reason for this has to do with the way our driver is designed. When you increase brightness the LED ramps up the mA... this energy draw causes the battery voltage to drop for which the driver compensates by demanding even more current, then when a level is achieved for a fraction of a section the opposite is happening. Again here each light is tiny bit different where this effect happens a bit more or less noticable. Our guess is that the lights with slightly more efficient LEDs or lower Vf this seems a bit more prounounced because of the higher brightness.
    Now however if that drop in brightness is signficant which might be the case in your light... that is not normal in which case we'd want to take a look at the driver sandwich. Would it be possible for you to take a couple second video clip and email it to my address (I'll reply to your email) or/and make a guess on how much less bright the light is after the drop compared to the pulse? % guess is ok.

    If it is more then a small drop I'll tell you how to remove the driver sandwich and then mail it back to us... or you can send the entire light if you want and we can do the scratch at the same time.
    I'll work on making a short video clip to demo the problem and email it to you. I'm not a really good judge of whether or not the drop is small or not. To my untrained eye the drop after initial ramp up to the desired brightness is quite noticeable and happens fairly quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by mobile1 View Post
    Anyway hope that answers your questions and no worries we'll get your light back to working perfectly again...
    This is simply the best part of the response. This is great customer service and leaves me with a warm feeling about owning a GatLight. Thanks again for the detailed response and info.

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    Default Re: GatLight V3 Tuxedo -- usage questions

    I thought I should update this thread with the latest info on my usage questions. The excellent service I received from LumenCraft in response to my questions posted in CPF and emails is greatly deserving of high praise. Based on a short video clip that I emailed to LumenCraft, they decided that my Tuxedo needed servicing and the other minor cosmetic issues would be taken care of at the same time. LumenCraft received my light on May 14 and I have the light back in my hands, today, May 28th. A lot of that time was weekends and a US holiday thrown in too. Kudos for the quick turn around on the repair and updates.

    My GatLight Tuxedo now has scratch free and polished Titanium rods! The dust is gone from inside the optics and the lens. My brightness control knob is now correctly cleaned and re-lubed. The driver electronics module was swapped out and the only visible "pulse" now is the inherently small pulse from an analog control -- so yes, it's MUCH smaller now and not even a bother anymore. The biggest kudo goes out to LumenCraft for the upgrade of my led to the new "V-bin"!!!

    So again, THANKS for the excellent customer service from the fine people at LumenCraft.

    Sincerely,

    Terry Chan

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