BLF/TLF FW3A - now available

scout24

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,869
Location
Penn's Woods
Setting thermal config is a must if you plan to use it in "muggle mode" at all. Mine would step down to 5 lm or so in less than 10 seconds prior to setting the temp. Works fine now. Oddly, in "normal" mode, I didn't notice it being an issue. It's a neat light, I just wish the switch was a bit more recessed.
 

Tejasandre

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
1,874
Location
SA, TX, UsA
Well, my box worked fine. Tail was loose on the light, tightened before I even tried it. Seems to be working fine. It is easy to turn on when putting it away (I Cary in a leather holster/pocket organizer). Tint is a little green , come on sst20, I got the 3D. I found the 4 click lockout, it's too good, had to unscrew the head to resume normal operation, mind you I have not read the instructions.
What a barn burner for $35!

High
ImageUploadedByCandlepowerforums1558146236.754963.jpg
Turbo
ImageUploadedByCandlepowerforums1558146251.987585.jpg
 

Ozythemandias

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
1,417
I'm super pleased with mine. Only two things to note, don't expect it to be able to sustain turbo for any amount of time, it's very lightweight and compact, the heat from 2800 lumens has no where to go and the stepdown kicks in rapidly (this should be expected really). Second thing is like everyone said, After a couple days of carrying it I found the electronic lockout a necessity.
 

Fireclaw18

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
2,408
If you don't like 4-clicks for electronic lockout, alternatively you can disable the switch with a 1/8 turn of the head. This isn't a true physical lockout since the driver is still powered. However, it can be treated as a physical lockout since the switch no longer works and the parasitic drain is so low.

I'm using my FW3A with no lockout. It has turned on in the pocket on low once or twice, but no harm done. Main reason I use lockout in a light is I don't want it to burn through my pocket. I don't mind accidental pocket turn-on so long as this doesn't happen and the accidental turn-ons are rare.

An Emisar D4 needs lockout or mods for safe pocket carry. The button protrudes and if depressed and held down it will ramp to turbo and stay there, which is easily hot enough to burn through a pants pocket in seconds.

In contrast, the FW3A uses Anduril. Even if the button accidentally depresses and is held down it will only ramp up to 2.8 amps output... not high enough to cause pocket damage. Only way to get to turbo is a double-click when on, or manually changing the ramp configuration settings. Neither of which are likely to happen accidentally in the pocket.
 

Fireclaw18

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
2,408
... I found the 4 click lockout, it's too good, had to unscrew the head to resume normal operation, mind you I have not read the instructions.
What a barn burner for $35!
If you had to unscrew the head to resume normal operations you clicked 5 times rather than 4 I think.

5 clicks activates momentary mode. Only way to get out of it is unscrew the head. 4 clicks activates lockout. To get out of it do 4 clicks again.
 

scout24

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,869
Location
Penn's Woods
Well, I'm not fussing with 1/8 turns or 4 click lockouts. If I'm carrying a light this size, it's clipped to my left front pants pocket. If it comes on accidentally when I move, (get in or out of the car for example) onto the BST it goes unless there's another solution. HDS, for example. As much as I love their raised button, I would get accidental activation. Changing to flush buttons has solved this problem for me. My attempt at a solution for this light, however inelegant, was to disassemble the tailcap, remove the ano from the flat portion on the end, and JB Weld a flat aluminum washer to the tailcap in an effort to recess the switch far enough to try to eliminate the problem. It'll go in my pocket tomorrow morning, I have my fingers crossed as otherwise it seems to be a great little light. I wish they had taken tailcap design cues from McGizmo or Okluma, however... :)
 

nightshade

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 19, 2004
Messages
805
Location
Adrift
Just ordered one for a bud that always wanted a 18650 NiteCore D10. Also, I really like firmware.
 

peter yetman

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
5,100
Location
North Norfolk UK
Would i be right in thinking that isn't really a light to give to a Muggle?
I'm always looking for decent, good value lights that I can give to friends. but what with the tailcap tightening, accidental switch on and the complex UI, should I leave this one out?
Thank you,
P
 

nightshade

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 19, 2004
Messages
805
Location
Adrift
Would i be right in thinking that isn't really a light to give to a Muggle?
I'm always looking for decent, good value lights that I can give to friends. but what with the tailcap tightening, accidental switch on and the complex UI, should I leave this one out?
Thank you,
P

It's most definitely not a light for the uninitiated. For personal safety reasons :)
The chap I'm sending one to is very familiar with the somewhat complicated user interfaces, such as HDS and the NiteCore D10.
 

xevious

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,028
Location
Hoboken, NJ
It's most definitely not a light for the uninitiated. For personal safety reasons :)
The chap I'm sending one to is very familiar with the somewhat complicated user interfaces, such as HDS and the NiteCore D10.
Very true. The muggle mode is a nice way to limit that. However, even better is to put it into momentary mode.

Anduril takes some getting used to but I find it more intuitive than NarsilM and certainly superior to the old NovaTac 120P / HDS programmable UI (those were great for their time, but really outdated at this point). I really like how you can set the floor and ceiling levels (independent of Turbo) and the step count for stepped ramping. I use 10 steps, so the 1st mode after moonlight isn't too bright. Stepping up doesn't take long to do. And I find it easier than smooth ramping (requires too much "trial and error" going up/down to decide on a brightness). Even still, if you decide you want smooth ramping, you don't have to go through a laborious series of clicks to get to it. A triple-click while on toggles smooth/stepped ramping. VERY easy.

I really wish they'd make a better tailcap with a retaining ring for the switch. The fact that the 3 switch components can easily fall out when removing the tail cap is severely annoying. There's also a small "nubbin" that's friction docked to the rubber switch cover, and it can fall out. If that happens? Forget about your light functioning.

Would i be right in thinking that isn't really a light to give to a Muggle? I'm always looking for decent, good value lights that I can give to friends. but what with the tailcap tightening, accidental switch on and the complex UI, should I leave this one out? Thank you

The "muggle mode" is useful for when allowing a flashlight neophyte to use it... but not own it. I think the tail cap vulnerability is the glaring flaw in this flashlight that would be a deal breaker for giving it to a muggle for ownership.
 
Last edited:

scout24

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,869
Location
Penn's Woods
I would guess that when Lumintop brings out their branded version, it'll be glued in the tail and head end. I was under the impression they left everything accessible on these early versions by request of the design group...
 

xevious

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,028
Location
Hoboken, NJ
I would guess that when Lumintop brings out their branded version, it'll be glued in the tail and head end. I was under the impression they left everything accessible on these early versions by request of the design group...
That makes sense--if the intention was to enable modders easy access to make changes. I've already seen someone cut a groove in the metal tail cap switch cover for installing a tritium vial. But a retaining ring would've been a better idea for the tail cap. If it meant $5 more, i'd have paid it. I don't intend on doing anything with the switch so maybe it might be worthwhile to use a simple flexible glue to help avoid annoyance if/when having to remove the tail cap.
 

Fireclaw18

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
2,408
Agreed they should have used a retaining ring in the tail.

If they had cut the threads the same as the head they probably could have just used a retaining ring identical to the one in the head.
 

staticx57

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Messages
1,749
Location
NJ
That makes sense--if the intention was to enable modders easy access to make changes. I've already seen someone cut a groove in the metal tail cap switch cover for installing a tritium vial. But a retaining ring would've been a better idea for the tail cap. If it meant $5 more, i'd have paid it. I don't intend on doing anything with the switch so maybe it might be worthwhile to use a simple flexible glue to help avoid annoyance if/when having to remove the tail cap.

BLF lights are usually made with modders in mind given the audience. Glue is a huge PITA when modding.
 

BobGarrett

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 10, 2019
Messages
2
Location
USA
I'm new to the modern LED flashlight obsession (but longtime lover of the old mag lights and cool lights in general). Despite reading many, many hours of threads here and on r/flashlight and BLF, and buying a light every few days it seems, I'm still basically a muggle. But making progress. Anyway, I say all that to agree that the FW3A is a light best for enthusiasts, not for muggles. I do love mine but it's a lot to learn for the uninitiated (like me). It might be my favorite light so far, but I've been reluctant to give it as a gift for the same reason, will probably stick to gifting simpler models. Still, I feel lucky to have found the community in time to participate in the FW3A, really big fan. :)
 

Latest posts

Top