Elzetta- The industry's best kept secret.

thermal guy

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Hmmm

It's all over the place. Unless I quickly press and hold before clicking, I can make it act almost like it's step ramping up and down, just by using light or firm pressure. Reminds me of my Peak LED lights with the QTC pill.
Not mine. There is like zero travel in my switch. It’s balls to the wall or off. Is your a generation 3?
 

Hemicrusher

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Not mine. There is like zero travel in my switch. It’s balls to the wall or off. Is your a generation 3?
Yeah, Gen 3. Just received it the other day.

Just playing with it again. Pushing the switch in momentary, it will hit high, then drop a little, then hit high again without changing switch pressure. All within the first second. Also, a firm press seems like it hits high, but then it will jump up slightly in lumens a second later, without any change in switch pressure.

I sent Elzetta an email, so hopefully I can get it resolved.
 

Hemicrusher

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Not mine. There is like zero travel in my switch. It’s balls to the wall or off. Is your a generation 3?

Okay, they got back to me right away. But now I am even more confused by their answer.

I sent them this.

Hi

I received my Alpha this week with the High/Low switch. When the cap is fully tightened, pressing the switch will cause the light to flicker/jump between 100ish lumens and High depending on how hard I press it. If I press it firmly until I hit resistance, it will go straight to High. But any release of pressure, while still on high, causes the light to jump between a lower level and high. And occasionally a firm press seems like it hits high, but then it will jump up slightly in lumens a second later, without any change in switch pressure.

Is this normal?


Their reply.

Yes, that is normal if you have the tailcap screwed in most of the way. Try backing off another quarter turn or until that stops. Our threads are machined intentionally loose so our tactical operarors can achieve a momentary high mode or manual strobe effect by pressing the side of the tailcap.

Thank you!
Elzetta Design LLC
PO Box 54364
Lexington, KY 40555
 

Hemicrusher

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Okay...so, this might be how it works. Meaning wonky.

This is from a review on The Lite Review on a Ver 2 Alpha.

Tailcap Position – 1/8 Turn Counterclockwise from Fully Tightened

Since the LOW mode is made possible with a resistor in the tailcap, it is worth noting that this is one of the perks or quirks (depending on how one might perceive it in their respective uses), due to the slight slop in the threads.

From OFF:

  • 1/2 Press – Direct access to MOMENTARY LOW; depress switch entirely (1 Click) to get LOW.
  • 3/4 Press – Direct access to MOMENTARY HIGH; depress switch entirely (1 Click) to get LOW.
  • 1 Click – Direct access to LOW [flashlight would appear as though it goes from 1/2 Press (LOW mode) to 3/4 Press (HIGH mode) and then back to LOW mode].

Looks like even when tightened, the slope in the threads will make it behave the way I am seeing it. ;)

I received, this additional response when asking to verify this behavior when screwed down all the way.

Correct. BUT, if you unscrew it an 1/8th turn and press on the switch it should go into low mode. The small gap between the end of the body and tailcap causes the momentary high to occur because the tailcap can physically move toward the body.

If the cap is in fact screwed all the way in you could be seeing a VERY quick disconnect of the switch rather than low mode. This can also be normal due to the mechanical switch long travel.

Thank you!
Elzetta Design LLC
PO Box 54364
Lexington, KY 40555
 
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thermal guy

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I get what there saying about the threads. We have known that for awhile. Basically if you get the switch in just the right spot it will be in low then when you press harder it will jump to high This is because of the slop in the threads. It’s a cool feature actually. But, if you screw the cap down all the way you should have high. Period. Not low. Not low/high. Just plan high with no flicker. Everyone of my hi/lo caps work like this. Not sure what’s going on with yours.
 

bykfixer

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Going back to the first gen, the thread slop and short threaded area was misunderstood by many.

The short threaded area is for ability to change the battery faster by taking less time to remove and replace the tailcap.
The thread slop is for the ability to briefly engage high mode while it's on in low mode.
 

Hemicrusher

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I get what there saying about the threads. We have known that for awhile. Basically if you get the switch in just the right spot it will be in low then when you press harder it will jump to high This is because of the slop in the threads. It’s a cool feature actually. But, if you screw the cap down all the way you should have high. Period. Not low. Not low/high. Just plan high with no flicker. Everyone of my hi/lo caps work like this. Not sure what’s going on with yours.
I wonder if this is a "feature :cool:" of the v.3 lights since the tail cap is different than the v.2? They even warn that a v.2 tailcap will destroy a v.3 Alpha.

I'll deal with it since they claim what I am experiencing is normal, so they probably wouldn't change tailcaps. I guess I'll just wait and see if more people with the new version have the same issue.
 

bykfixer

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Elzetta may have built in a "gas pedal"-esque feature like SureFire has with some of their lights.

Example, a light press (short travel) for momentary turns it to a less than high output and a firmer press (longer travel) but not enough to engage the clicker results in high output? With the thread slop somehow playing a role?

Previous Elzetta tail caps typically have had a longer travel (than many) before engaging the clicker to ensure the ability to signal without accidently engaging the clicker to on.
 

Hemicrusher

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Elzetta may have built in a "gas pedal"-esque feature like SureFire has with some of their lights.

Example, a light press (short travel) for momentary turns it to a less than high output and a firmer press (longer travel) but not enough to engage the clicker results in high output? With the thread slop somehow playing a role?

Previous Elzetta tail caps typically have had a longer travel (than many) before engaging the clicker to ensure the ability to signal without accidently engaging the clicker to on.
I'm getting used to the quirky nature of it, but I'll be honest...Elzetta needs to have someone re-write their entire website and explain all of this.

Also, me obsessively playing with it, seems to be breaking in the switch and it's not acting as wonky as it was when I got it the other day.
 

aznsx

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I assume the Alpha has low voltage protection, so no need to use protected cells?

Thanks!

BTW: As a very experienced professional, in my opinion, I can think of no other word to describe what you're experiencing, as described later in this thread, than the highly technical term: FLAKY. Not a term I like to use, especially when describing a flashlight.

I know nothing about this light or its ancestors, but I'm not sure why you're assuming that it has "low voltage protection". I might have assumed that too, since I gather this is an update to a previous model to (among other things) incorporate support for the common lithium ion chemistry (16340) cells, so one would hope that would include a 'low-voltage indication'. However, have you looked at the 'run-time' graph on the web site product page? What I see is a 'low voltage indication' feature, which is even notated on the graph, for the blue line - CR123A. What I see on the orange line ('16340') is a vertical drop at the end. If true, this is odd, and the opposite of what I'd have expected. I think they're recommending a 'high-drain IMR' 16340, but most (if not all) of the ones I have don't incorporate a 'low voltage' cutoff circuit, which makes it all the more odd. So far I haven't seen the recommended cell on their site, although I guess they do sell a 16340 for their G-EDC-RCR, but I'm not sure what its characteristics are.

Let me know if I'm missing something here, as I was contemplating possibly ordering one of these, but am slowly talking myself out of it.

Edit: Maybe that vertical drop at the end of the orange line is in fact the 'low-voltage' indication I mention, only the indication is 'darkness', which is not ever my preferred indication. I prefer something like an 'off-on' blink or the like, such as one apparently gets with the CR123A, but maybe 'darkness' just 'is what it is'.
 
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bykfixer

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The Elzetta battery has low voltage protection. I use one in my PKDL PR-1 now.

My old regulated Alphas using primaries have a nice long taper as the battery depletes if one is using a single stage tailcap. If using a hi/lo it down shifts to low then tapers. No insta-dark using primaries.

Can't speak for the gen 3 nor have I looked at runtime graphs for it but I would surmize running it on a primary one would get the same results as gen's 1 and 2.

Edit: I just looked at the graph at Elzetta and the orange line spikes a bit just before it drops. But as Elzetta has always said if you absolutely, positively need the light to work, (LEO/CQB) the use of a rechargeable is not reccomended.
 
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Random Dan

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If it allows CR123s then it almost certainly does not have a low voltage cutoff for 16340s, since that cutoff would prevent the usage of CR123s. To get around that you have to do something fancy like HDS does where it detects the voltage and decides whether the battery is 16340 or CR123. But if they implemented that feature they'd probably advertise it.
 

Hemicrusher

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If it allows CR123s then it almost certainly does not have a low voltage cutoff for 16340s, since that cutoff would prevent the usage of CR123s. To get around that you have to do something fancy like HDS does where it detects the voltage and decides whether the battery is 16340 or CR123. But if they implemented that feature they'd probably advertise it.
What you said makes the most sense. The kicker is that Elzetta has the bare minimum amount of info about their products.
 

Hemicrusher

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Okay, I filmed the Alpha V.3 with the High/Low cap acting wonky. First flash is my phone's camera adjusting to the light, then you see a second flash, a second later. This happens in momentary, with the tailcap fully tightened. Pressing the switch in momentary will turn the light on, but a second later, it jumps up 30+%, This is repeatable, but only after the light has been off for awhile. If I turn the light off and on in momentary high a few times, it stops acting like this and will reliably turn on to momentary high. Set the light down for awhile, it will act wonky again. This does not happen with the tailcap loosened in low mode. Only when the tailcap is fully tightened in high mode.

Do you all think this is a tailcap or driver issue?

Here is the video of it happening.

 
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Hemicrusher

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Ya definitely not like any of mine. I’d get hold of them.
I had an email exchange with them yesterday, and they wanted me to send in the tailcap. Took the video this morning and sent it to them as a follow up and asking if I should just send in the entire light.

I really don't want to play the $8 USPS shipping back and forth game, if they then want the entire light because they can't duplicate the issue.
 

Grizzman

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How does it act when the tailcap isn't installed? If you connect the battery's negative contact to the body threads, it should immediately go to high. If it does anything wonky, then the tailcap isn't the cause......since it's not in the electrical circuit.
 
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