Defective unit already?!

Skyline

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So, I got my brand new white Arclight last night. Cool. Popped in a Duracell Ultra AAA and checked it out. Bright, even light with a bluish tinge. Compared it against my Photon II and Pelican MiniMityLite. It's brighter than both. Played with it for about a minute, and I was a happy camper.

This morning while getting ready to go to work, I put the Arclight on my keychain and try to turn it on. Nothing at all happens. I remove and replace the bezel a few times, check/clean the contacts, wipe excess lubricant off the threads, etc. Still Nothing. The Duracell's Powercheck still says 100% though.

Anyway, I brought it in to work, and tried a couple of other batteries (new as well) without success. I even checked the voltages and they are 1.581, 1.580, and 1.521 volts.

So what gives? A defective light?

<rant>
This is actually my third LED light. The two others I own are the Photon II and the PalLight. Funny that when I first got the PalLight, it was also a defective unit. Stopped working correctly 20 minutes after I got it. Light Technology was good enough to send me a replacement that has been wonderful for over a year now. But man, I'm not yet convinced about these LED lights. I'm going back to my SureFire lights until I see compelling reason to trust the light output and reliability of other brands.
</rant>

Thanks for reading.
/mel
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Joined
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Ohio
Well keep in mind, this is a first production run and a few bad one's are bound to slip past quality checks. It's just statistics. Unless you check every one that rolls out the door, a small % will end up bad. And you can't check every one unless you charge a whole lot more for it (i.e. Pal Golds).

You just seem to have the luck I have and the bad ones find you.
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I'm sure ARClight will make things right for you.

[At least you got yours already]
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Skyline

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Yes, you're right of course. It is the first production. I'm just disappointed since I barely used it. I haven't dropped it or done anything to it either.

Oh well. Btw, my Pal Gold was $20.95, while the Arc is $24.95. Different category of light though.

/mel
 

Gransee

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Hey, still waiting on your email asking for a warranty replacement!

I thought maybe I could get a jump on things by looking at your CPF profile to see who you were, but it just says your in New York. I just checked, and we don't have any customers with a "mel" in their name from New York (at least from the information provided to us). I can't do anything more until I get an email.
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This is the second unit that has suffered this "sudden death syndrome". We won't know what caused it until the units are returned.

And yes, we tested each unit several times before they were sent out.

We'll be happy to FedEx you a replacement.
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Please email us at [email protected]

Peter Gransee
 

Badbeams3

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One of the one`s I have would not always come on when I twisted it down, but by backing off a little and giving it a lite shake it would come on fine. I also noticed both felt a little rough when twisting. So what I did was remove the batt and twist it on/off a bunch of times. Then I took a bathroom towel and worked it inside the batt case a ways and twisted it around a bunch of times. Then I took some WD-40 on a Q-tip and cleaned the bottom of the case as best I could and sprayed a little on the towel and cleaned the contact point on the head as well as the threads. I then lubricated the threads with some vitamin E paste my wife has in the bathroom. To stop the battery from ratteling side to side I cut a stip of paper and placed it in the case. The result is two smooooth nice lights and the one that was sometimes not coming on comes on all the time with no trouble. I`m not sure this will help your light as it sounds like you have alread tried all the tricks and frankly I`m not sure what solved the not lighting problem, but still, gave these the feel and action of a precision instument.
 

K Horn

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I HAD 2 LIGHTS THAT DIDN'T WORK !!!

Then I put the batteries in correctly....whoops

Unfortunatly the warranty on me expired a long time ago....(back when you had to open beer cans and bottles with an opener)
 

The_LED_Museum

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K Horn:

Unfortunatly the warranty on me expired a long time ago....(back when you had to open cans and bottles with an opener)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


ummmm... what do you open cans & bottles with now, a portable rotating phase antiproton laser opener?
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I still use a conventional can opener...guess I need to get with the times!
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Skyline

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gransee:
Hey, still waiting on your email asking for a warranty replacement!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks! I will be contacting you (info@) over the weekend to get a warranty replacement. I just wanted to exhaust all possibilities of what might be the problem, and see if anyone had any ideas that I haven't tried.

Hmm, I guess I should update my profile with more information. Sorry about that.
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/mel
 

Bucky

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Grand Rapids, MI
I have been so impressed with all of the great comments about the ARC, that I ordered one myself last night. The only problem is that my email said "will ship in 2-3 weeks"
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.

Has the "first run" been sold out already? Of course I am willing to wait, but I would rather have it sooner than later
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.

I glad that I came upon these ARC posts when I did becaue I was about ready to order my first Infinity
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. This works out perfectly because not only should the ARC be much better and brighter (albeit for not as long), but I have tons of extra AAA batteries lying around that I was trying to find a use for.

Bucky
 

Gransee

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Yes, the first run is completely sold. We are now taking orders for the second run and expect them to be ready in "2-3 weeks".

Orders placed now are back ordered and will be filled from the second run in the order they were recieved.

And as always, we do not charge your card until your order ships.

Peter Gransee
 

Badbeams3

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Well, the one that was acting up, that I thought I had somehow fixed, is really acting up now...sometimes it will not light...sometimes it comes on about half power and sometimes about 1/3 power...I noticed by looking at it with my wife`s reading glasses that there are two burn holes in the head potting area...I don`t know if that`s normal but I suspect that`s not a good thing...especially here in humid Florida...a lot of water vapor in the air... The other one has one burn through hole..I wonder if it`s only a matter of time before it acts up?
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The_LED_Museum

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Reading all these posts about dead & dying Arc Flashlights - it sounds like little more than typical "infant mortality" to me.
This happens often with new products... another product I recently tested turned up two bad pieces out of two sent, and resulted in revisions that fixed the product for everyone else.

My two samples of the Arc have performed flawlessly so far. They have both had many hours of run-time, and one has been repeatedly struck against a steel table leg without so much as a scratch on the finish.

My $0.02 on the new belt/O-ring is keep the belt style. It doesn't bind up like the O-ring (in this and in many other flashlights) does; and any stiff or gritty feel to the action is remedied with a drop of sewing machine oil. Smooth as a baby's *** in five seconds flat.

Manufacturers who listen to their customers are becoming hard to find, but names like Peter Gransee, Kevin Dowling, and Scott Mele keep coming up over and over as outstanding examples of this.
 

Badbeams3

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Manufactures who do listen are the big winners ($$$). The others will or are going to find themselves in trouble in this day of computers and especially with our economy going into a recession. There are graveyards full of forgotten companies who didn`t listen to their customers.
 

lightlover

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by telephony:
Manufacturers who listen to their customers are becoming hard to find, but names like Peter Gransee, Kevin Dowling, and Scott Mele keep coming up over and over as outstanding examples of this.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I recognise the other two eminent names, but who / which company is Kevin Dowling ?

Lite-Lover
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Badbeams3

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I left the head of the troublsome one sit in the air conditioning vent over night and today it is working like it did when I first got it (works 90% of the time) it is not doing the half...1/3 power thing anymore.

With regards to the gasket I am wondering how the Mag-Solitare is done, if it`s smooth and if it works well? Does anyone have one?
 

Gransee

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Thanks for the understanding post Telephony, KenB and others. So far, we have had three bad units out of the first shipment. I expect a few more will mysteriously fail as well- but I sure hope not!

This may be a normal amount of infant death for a new product, but I find it very disturbing.

We got the first return in the mail yesterday and cut it open. The PCB and LED were fine and the circuit lit up bright when connected to a supply. It appears that the epoxy used to pot the head expanded up and obscured the ground pad for the PCB. Symptoms included partially lighting, requiring excessive force to light, flickering, or completly not working at all.

Btw, those two "burn holes" are actually epoxy fill holes. The epoxy is a black material and completely encases the electronics and protects them from moisture and shock.

Here's what we are going to do:

1. Ship replacements overnight for any units that fail.
2. Toss the current set of boards and make a new batch with a second ground pad on the battery side of the board. The inside lip will be extended so it can be curled over to crimp the board and make contact with the second pad. This ground pad will suppliment the inside pad and make better contact with the case since it is not in an area that is epoxied.

Tossing the boards won't be cheap (an understatement- there are 2700 of them- 400 of them already have parts on them). But this is serious enough of a problem to warrant these measures.

One possible reason the units all tested fine here and then some failed after they shipped is because either tempurature or humidity caused the epoxy to expand enough to obscure the pad. This epoxy is supposed to be pretty stable stuff once it cures so I would assume that after these first couple of deaths, the remaining units should be fine for years to come. There doesn't seem to be any indicators that the units that make it past a couple of weeks all of sudden get worse (I am citing the experience the reviewers have had- none of their units have failed and they seem to continue to work fine).

I hope any faith lost in us is more than restored by our response to problems in our new product.

Peter Gransee
 

Badbeams3

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Frankly Gransee, I don`t think any of us are loosing faith in this product...just the opposite...EVERY new product is going to have a few growing pains...and I believe we all know that. I am only glad to in some small way participate in the perfection process.

In my opinion this already a great light and expect this light to get even better.

The more problems we can uncover now the better it will be in the short and long run. It`s less expensive to nip the problems when there are only a few hundred out there as opposed to later when there are thousands and thousands
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Chris M.

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With regards to the gasket I am wondering how the Mag-Solitare is done, if it`s smooth and if it works well? Does anyone have one?

solitairenohead.jpg
I do, here it is-->


The solitaire has an o-ring but it is a tiny bit bigger and seated in a deeper recessed groove to the Arc`s, and also the head of the solitaire fits over it with the o-ring further down inside. The Arc is exactly the opposite with the head carrying the o-ring not the body, and it sits right up against the opening of its body when screwed down- but couldn`t really be seated too low I think, otherwise there would be fewer threads to screw it on with. It could have been a bit more like the Infinity which is deeper set and further down too but I think one of the things Peter and the team were trying to avoid is just making a baby Infinity clone. Without a battery it screws in further and has fewer problems- perhaps different brands of AAA are slightly different heights in which case a shorter one would allow the head to screw further in. Maybe though, making the body perhaps 1mm longer would improve things, though then when a shorter than average AAA comes along it won`t be long enough to reach screwed even all the way in, and won`t work without stuffing something down the barrel to pad it up a bit.

Anyway I have yet to see the new gasket (it`ll be about a month before my production sample, and one I will buy- well come on I`ve got to pay for at least one havn`t I
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) taking into account waiting for production-run no.2 and international shipping delays) but expect it is much better than the troublesome little o-ring of the prototype.

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The_LED_Museum

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lite-Lover:
I recognise the other two eminent names, but who / which company is Kevin Dowling ?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

He's one of the top engineer guys at Color Kinetics working on the Sauce stuff. http://www.cksauce.com
 

Badbeams3

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I have been turning the good one on/off on/off all morning...probably enough times to simulate years of normal use, and it has worked perfect every time...I won`t be beating it against poles, throwing it at walls and floors, throwing rocks at it, bury it in potted plants, trying to drown it in the bathtub (well maybe) or straping it to a tire and going 4-wheeling...I`ll leave that for the Punishment Zone
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Chris, thanks for the pic, did the prototype have a grove for the "O" ring to rest in?
 
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