BLF/TLF FW3A - now available

jon_slider

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That also depends on the specific optic and reflector though. Some reflector lights can be as floody or more than a narrow clear triple optic.

yes, to do a relevant comparison we would need to use two identical lights with identical LEDs, and drivers.

I have a pair of essentially the same size lights w same driver, one triple and one single, but, they dont have the same LEDs, so, we need someone to do a more accurate test, with identical LEDs..

even so
ime the narrow clear optic produces a larger hotspot than the single LED in the same size light

my main point is that a larger hotspot will not be as bright on target, at the same total out the front lumens, as a smaller hotspot. The small hotspot, is why HDS lights can be brighter on target with less total lumens out the front, than a light with more output. Case in point, the HDS 325 w XP-L is not as bright on target (and does not throw as far), as the HDS 250 with single XP-G2. HDS does not publish the throw specs, if they did, we would be able to know if the HDS 200 High CRI w sw45 throws further than the HDS 325 w XP-L (which has a larger hotspot)

EfwN8kol.png
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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Since lights that are fully controlled by PWM always runs the LED at full power, they are the least efficient.

If you compare a current-control light v. a PWM control light, at full power both lights should have the same efficiency. However, at lower power settings the efficiency difference is visible with the current-control having significantly more battery life. Sometimes twice as much.

I certainly notice that my current-controlled lights, like Zebralights, are more efficient than my FET lights. However, I'm not sure if that's just the more expensive Zebralight has a better design overall.

I suppose I'll continue to accept the belief that PWM with FET is less efficient than current-regulated. And, it makes sense. But I'd still like to see some specific testing showing this. I've seen lots of tests, but they all use direct drive (i.e., FET at 100% duty cycle).

For example, are there any tests that measure watt-hours consumed after X minutes, when a LED is driven at 100% vs PWM at 50%. If the watt-hours are exactly double at 100%, then that would erase any doubt I have.

Note, however, that some drivers, use a combination. The FW3A is primarily PWM controlled, but has 3-current controlled channels. At the lowest power settings, the first channel with just 1x 7135 chip (max 280 mAh) is active giving high efficiency. At intermediate settings the remaining 7x7135 also activate for up to 2.8 amps current. At the highest settings the FET also activates for the lowest efficiency, but highest ouptut.

Okay, but 7135 chips are horrible at efficiency, unless the battery voltage is very close to the forward voltage of the LED at the output you want to run. Any higher voltage, and the 7135 chip just burns away that excess voltage as heat. So, a fully-charged cell at 4.2v is wasting about 25% of its power just heating up the 7135 chip.

And if the battery voltage is lower than what is required, I think the 7135 just does PWM, doesn't it?

The best efficiency comes from a boost/buck driver.
 

peter yetman

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Note, however, that some drivers, use a combination. The FW3A is primarily PWM controlled, but has 3-current controlled channels. At the lowest power settings, the first channel with just 1x 7135 chip (max 280 mAh) is active giving high efficiency. At intermediate settings the remaining 7x7135 also activate for up to 2.8 amps current. At the highest settings the FET also activates for the lowest efficiency, but highest ouptut.
I like what you did there, you almost got us back on topic.
P
 

id30209

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Just got mine, impressed with the size for a 18650. Heatsinking is awefull but luckily i have set the output (from min to max) to be regulated by 7135, constant current all the way. Like TK described, 1 is moonlight level and 150 is Turbo(FET).
CC is regulating this little one up to 130 level (2.something Amps) and i set mine to 100.

Now looks even better, especially when temp sensor is recalibrated. Almost no heat as the first light up...


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WalkIntoTheLight

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i have set the output (from min to max) to be regulated by 7135, constant current all the way.

IFAIK, it's not "constant" current unless you have it using exactly 350mA or 7x350mA of current. If you use less current than 350mA, then it just uses PWM with the 7135 chip. At least, that's how I understand it. Could be wrong. Probably makes no difference to the eye, though, since the PWM is too fast to see.
 

Fireclaw18

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IFAIK, it's not "constant" current unless you have it using exactly 350mA or 7x350mA of current. If you use less current than 350mA, then it just uses PWM with the 7135 chip. At least, that's how I understand it. Could be wrong. Probably makes no difference to the eye, though, since the PWM is too fast to see.
I think "Constant Current" refers to a flat amount of current sent to the LEDs. IE.: regulated modes. The output should be relatively flat as the battery depletes and voltage goes down. This is in contrast to the unregulated modes controlled by the FET where output declines sharply as voltage decreases. Regulated modes work just fine with PWM drivers.

"Constant Current" is the not same thing as "Current Control", which refers to a different method of controlling brightness by reducing the current to the LED.
 

id30209

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That's correct but the thing i didn't mention is flashing of driver's UI.
Then you can choose output to be regulated with each step with one additional 7135.
And as always, double tap for turbo. If you like


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staticx57

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A few things. Efficiency LED or driver efficiency. There's two part to this and each's efficiency is different. Easiest example of the separation is when you consider what an efficient driver is. A driver is efficient when the flow of power into it matches most closely to what exits, we want our drivers to have as little power loss-heat-as possible.

We know 7135 drivers are most efficient when the voltage matches what the LED wants, as little voltage burned off as heat. This is a pretty simple solution. Then take something like a Zebralight with its buck boost design where instead of burning off the voltage it transforms it into what the LED needs. This is better but it costs more to design and build. Well what is our most efficient driver then? Well! It is the FET in direct drive. There is near no losses in the driver as its sole role is to just get out of the way of the current and voltage.

But we just said previous that our lights get super hot when using the FET drivers right? Well yes, operating direct drive with our high current 18650s will run the LEDs where they are least efficient.

OK next topic. PWM. The FW3A is PWM controlled in all modes in all levels. That is to say each regulating chip is controlled with PWM. So what is this talk of constant current? Well a 7135 can be constant current with a duty cycle of 100% or PWM value of 255. This just means it is always held on instead of rapidly turning on or off.

I am looking at the ramp tables for the FW3A and there is preciously one level where all channels are in complete constant current. This is where 1x7135 and 7x7135 are both 100% and the FET has not turned on. This is ramp level 130/150.
 

Fireclaw18

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A few things. Efficiency LED or driver efficiency. There's two part to this and each's efficiency is different. Easiest example of the separation is when you consider what an efficient driver is. A driver is efficient when the flow of power into it matches most closely to what exits, we want our drivers to have as little power loss-heat-as possible.

We know 7135 drivers are most efficient when the voltage matches what the LED wants, as little voltage burned off as heat. This is a pretty simple solution. Then take something like a Zebralight with its buck boost design where instead of burning off the voltage it transforms it into what the LED needs. This is better but it costs more to design and build. Well what is our most efficient driver then? Well! It is the FET in direct drive. There is near no losses in the driver as its sole role is to just get out of the way of the current and voltage.

But we just said previous that our lights get super hot when using the FET drivers right? Well yes, operating direct drive with our high current 18650s will run the LEDs where they are least efficient.

OK next topic. PWM. The FW3A is PWM controlled in all modes in all levels. That is to say each regulating chip is controlled with PWM. So what is this talk of constant current? Well a 7135 can be constant current with a duty cycle of 100% or PWM value of 255. This just means it is always held on instead of rapidly turning on or off.

I am looking at the ramp tables for the FW3A and there is preciously one level where all channels are in complete constant current. This is where 1x7135 and 7x7135 are both 100% and the FET has not turned on. This is ramp level 130/150.

1x7135 level should also be constant current I think. First channel at max, other 2 channels off.
 

jon_slider

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I am looking at the ramp tables for the FW3A and there is preciously one level where all channels are in complete constant current. This is where 1x7135 and 7x7135 are both 100% and the FET has not turned on. This is ramp level 130/150.

thank you for the very clear and helpful explanations!

1x7135 level should also be constant current I think. First channel at max, other 2 channels off.

and thank you also for the added level of detail
 

id30209

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I am looking at the ramp tables for the FW3A and there is preciously one level where all channels are in complete constant current. This is where 1x7135 and 7x7135 are both 100% and the FET has not turned on. This is ramp level 130/150.

The thing about flashing custom UI is that there's possibility to use each of 7135's installed individually, not only by PWM. In this case you loose smooth ramping and steped is the option in that case.
I still need to confitm after testing or agree that i was bla blaing.
H17F is CC except on turbo...


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Fireclaw18

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The thing about flashing custom UI is that there's possibility to use each of 7135's installed individually, not only by PWM. In this case you loose smooth ramping and steped is the option in that case.
I still need to confitm after testing or agree that i was bla blaing.
H17F is CC except on turbo...


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I don't think that is correct.

You could only control each 7135 individually if there was a separate control channel for each one from the Atiny MCU. There isn't. The MCU doesn't have enough pins. There are just 3 channels: One for the 1x7135. One for 7x7135 (which are wired in parallel so what happens to one happens to all), and one for the FET.
 
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vadimax

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Regarding voltage issues. Yesterday I have received my FW3A — perfect, with a battery — perfect. But when I removed an isolating film and tried to switch the light on nothing has happened. Yes, the light blinks when I assemble it. But the button is "dead".

Ok, I take another battery — the light functions properly. Hmm… I take a DMM — the battery that has arrived with the light turns out to be 3.462V. Well, nothing extraordinary. I charge it — now the light is functioning properly.

Now the question: was that just a first power on issue or will the light die this early (voltage sense) always by design?

BTW, my light is clean from inside, threads are lubed, retaining ring is tight.
 
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Fireclaw18

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You might have a defective light. Someone else on BLF reported something like this... the light not working on a battery that arrived with a rested voltage around 3.4v.

Toykeeper (who wrote the Anduril firmware) confirmed in that thread that the FW3A should continue running until the battery is almost depleted at around 2.8v or so. If yours won't work at 3.4v then something is off.
 

Archibald Tuttle

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Such a incredible product, especially at it's price point. It's a modding dream too! It's a keeper😂!!
Now,it won't replace my EDC. I still prefer a simple, rheostat style interface and I don't need the runtime. I have several outstanding work and drop lights that I prefer to flashlights.
14k9r1x.jpg
 

xevious

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Such a incredible product, especially at it's price point. It's a modding dream too! It's a keeper!!
Now,it won't replace my EDC. I still prefer a simple, rheostat style interface and I don't need the runtime. I have several outstanding work and drop lights that I prefer to flashlights.
14k9r1x.jpg
I like that protective bezel surround on the FW3A. Who makes it and where'd you find it?
 
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