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Dropped my light, now it won't turn on. Is it dead?

Dropped my Hexbright onto a concrete driveway today. :-(

It only fell about 4 feet, but I fumbled a grab for it as it fell so it might have been going faster. Scuffed the case up, not bad, but now it won't turn on.

When I press the switch, the red indicator light under the switch turns on, but the device doesn't activate. When I let the button go, the red indicator goes out, no other effect.

I've taken it all apart, and I can't see any damage to the board or wires. It shows the same behavior when it's all taken apart too, so it can't be a short with the case.

I also plugged it into my computer; it doesn't try to charge and doesn't show up on the device list.

Is it dead, or could I fix it?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Hey there, I too have dropped my Hexbright about 5 feet onto tile and was stuck with the same issue of the red button LED light turning on but not the actual flashlight LED. What I found for my situation was that the inductor solder joints had broken off slightly. If you look at this picture I have the inductor circled on the PCB in green. It has "1R5" printed on it and it is at the front of the flashlight and under/next to the main LED positive and negative wires. If you're confidant in your solder abilities, you could probably resolder the inductor pins back into the board, although I assume no liability or responsibility if you damage your Hexbright or void your warranty in the process. You could also do a quick and simple fix of wrapping some felt tape around it so that the pins maintain contact with the board and allow the flashlight to work again, although this will not ensure a proper connection to and from the inductor and could possibly burn it up. Anyways, hopefully that helps all of you determine the cause of the problem, cheers.

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Fixability depends entirely on the problem, what equipment you have available to you, and how good you are wielding them :)

The red light coming on is a partial good sign. That LED is basically hardwired between Vcc (the output from the voltage regulator), the switch, and GND. So the battery's okay, the battery contacts are okay, the voltage regulator is probably okay, the switch is okay and that LED is okay.

That does leave plenty of things that may not be okay, of course. While a visual inspection is a great first step - especially in identifying a loose wire, bad solder joint, etc. - at some point you'll have to get out a continuity tester or, better, multimeter.

If you're comfortable with that type of tool, I'd start with the connections from the button daughter board to the main board. If the microcontroller never gets the signal the button is being pressed, not a whole lot would happen regardless of anything else in the chain. It's also one of the more fragile points (others have had the USB port come loose, but I don't think that would affect basic operation - just the charging/programming bit). If something's wrong there, it's probably the solder joint(s) which would be easy to re-solder.

One note - I suspect that if you do start soldering around, your warranty will be void ( I don't know what the status of I-dropped-my-Flex-halp? is with regard to RMA :) )

If those connections are fine, I'd move to the other end of the chain and check the LED. Put 3V (two AA batteries - don't use the 18650, that's 3.7V nominal and the LED doesn't like that very much) across the LED at the wires on the main board (mind your polarity) for just a moment. If it doesn't light up, either the wires or the LED is at fault. Again, might be as simple as re-soldering.

If it does light up, things get a bit more tricky - you'd have to measure the microcontroller and/or LED driver output. Can cross that stage if/when you get there.

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Richard, thanks for the response.

In looking at the board (under some magnification) nothing jumps out as showing a crack or loose looking connection but many of the components are rather small and it would take more magnification than I have available or some sort of dye test to reveal a problem. No change when touching, pressing or wiggling any components or the LED wires either.

As for the use of the accelerometer - I did load the Hexbright4 program, which allows use of the accelerometer when the button is depressed and held. Taps change blinking modes and turning the light like a knob currently adjusts brightness, but only to a point like a wall dimmer switch with a positive stop for on-off. (ie. hold the button and begin to turn it like a knob and the light will come on and increase in brightness through about 90* to 135* of turning then the light turns off. Turning the light back the opposite direction will mostly reverse the change and then the light will again turn off a little beyond the original starting point. The brightness doesn't seem to correspond to the way the program acted previously, and it's difficult to say how bright the range actually is - particularly since it seems to vary some from cycle to cycle.

As for attempting to reload the Hexbright4 program I get the error: "avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00"

I also have no output in the serial monitor.

Attempting to load the Hexbright_Factory program results in the same exact error. The COM port seems to be correct, but I don't recall how my computer identified the device previously. It currently identifies it as: "Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM4)"

I am running arduino 1.0.2 and do have the Hexbright boards file selected as well.

Any other thoughts?

-Dan

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Similar thing here. Dropped the light from about 3 feet up when it rolled off a cart and landed broadside on the concrete below.

The switch LED still lights when the switch is pushed and if I shake the light I can get the primary LED to light - in varying brightnesses. Seems like the accelerometer (and maybe more) is broken?

Plugging it in to the computer I get nothing from the serial monitor and attempts to upload code to it fails as well.

I don't think I am able to perform complex troubleshooting, but I would be willing to try...at this point the light is useless.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

-Dan

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Dan,

I'd guess the same steps would apply to you. Shaking making it turn on is a good sign, though - this is likely to be unrelated to the accelerometer (unless you happen to have loaded a firmware that uses the accelerometer by default, and in such a way) and more likely related to a wire or a solder joint having come loose. Try checking very closely for either of those :)

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Same problem here. I get the red light flashing when I try the switch! Flashlight is physically fine, but it is not turning on.

Looks like it is a manufacturing defect.

GB

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I am also having the exact same issue as people have described above. Has there been any resolution on this?

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Looks like this is a major issue with the product and Hexbright doesnt have a solution. My flashlight doesnt even charge. Just flashes red.

GB

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I've dropped mine several times and haven't had any issue. The only one I did have an issue with, is was when it dropped dangling off the USB cable - the solders of the connector probably got dislodged as some wiggling will have it work just fine. Nothing a heatgun couldn't fix.

Those that have had an issue after dropping it, with the symptoms described, could have a mechanical problem as outlined in the points above - it's just that it's not as easy to diagnose as when you drop a traditional flashlight (broken bulb is easy to spot even without opening anything up). Unfortunately I haven't seen any broken HexBrights with this symptom up close and personal as of yet (a few of the other early Kickstarter backers have, sent in to them by the owners) - I did see two reports of a broken crystal (physically broken) from the v1 series - but your best bet in general would be to contact Christian directly.

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Same issue here. Drop from off my knee while sitting in a chair caused the light to quit. The red light comes on when the button is pushed. The strange thing is that if I keep pressing the button, the light SOMETIMES comes on. Light does not charge either. Flashlight is BRAND NEW ( got it for xmas ).

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Same issue one more time. Drop from my granddaughter hand on a wooded floor with carpet. The red light comes on when the button is pushed but nothing occurs unless if I give it a gentle tap in a specific direction. Then pressing the button works or doesn't works and strangely it can light off (or on) when I put it on my desk!

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Like wise I have the kickstart edition, and up until Friday it was a champ. now its a chump.

red light and no high beams..... kinda upset about this.

Christian are you reading this?

Thank you

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The problem is the external oscillator. It is fragile and breaks FAR too easily for any reasonable design. The oscillator in the processor is the same frequency, so you can just jumper the clock pin to activate the internal oscillator and all will be well.

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I am sorry I am not a electrical engineer, pictures? Diagrams something to help a regular guy please?

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> The problem is the external oscillator. It is fragile and breaks FAR too easily for any reasonable design. The oscillator in the processor is the same frequency, so you can just jumper the clock pin to activate the internal oscillator and all will be well.

Why is an external oscillator used at all then? I was really curious about that.

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That's a very good question, but I have a theory which is likely to be correct. Temperature changes cause variation in the frequency of oscillators. The external one has less thermal variance; also, being separate from the processor means it has a (relatively) more-stable temperature. I suppose in most implementations having an accurate RTC is important, but in the case of the HexBright is effectively pointless.

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I have had the same issue. My new Hex Bright fell maybe three feet to a concrete floor and the red light shows on the On/Off button but it doesn't light up at all.

I am not so tech savvy that I want to try and fix it myself.

I feel like I wasted too much money on a 'RUGGED' flashlight that can't stand up to anything, seemingly.

When it worked I loved it and felt I got my money's worth. Now I feel like a schnook who could have bought two or three MagLights instead.

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Unfortunately, this error simply means that some internal component was damaged. It can probably be fixed or worked around, but doing so requires some skill with electronics (reading a schematic and testing values with a multimeter).

If you aren't comfortable with that, try contacting Christian directly.

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Same issue here. I just dropped it 2.5' and red light comes on. I also feel that a "rugged" flashlight should survive a fall like this. I would spend more time on this, but I was packing for a camping trip and will be going back to a $4 LED flashlight.

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Its Me again, I forgot about this nice unit until i started seeing posts hitting my inbox.

does any one have a pic of where the wire should be run from where to where to make this thing work again???

Not really caring about all the bells and whistles, but i do want the light saber of a flashlight back to do work around the house, cars woods, corn fields, tractors... you get the picture.

Thank you

Busted Hex light owner...

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Unfortunately, though the symptoms are the same, the underlying issue can vary; there is no simple solution. This symptom simply means that the microcontroller can't run for some reason.

The crystal oscillator is the single most delicate component, so it's the most likely to have failed. At least one person has successfully replaced the oscillator, but it does require a bit of skill with a soldering iron...

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So what is the solution, and does someone have a diagram pointing from what to what needs to be bypassed, soldered? I would really like to either get the $$ back or get this Fixed. preferred fixed. As i have posted before, It has great output as far as light, so what do you all think can someone take a pic, and use that fancy product paint to say solder here ----> to here <------?

thank you

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I can report the same thing. Dropped my flashlight on my wood deck (less than a 3 foot fall) while it was turned on. It stayed on but the switch no longer worked. I popped out the battery and put back in. Now I get a red light and it won't turn on. Will not charge either.

I'm pretty mediocre with a soldering iron, but if someone has detailed instructions on a workaround I'd give it a shot.

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Video link to a guy replacing the oscillator here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyD7KwNv...

Using a rework station and this digikey part:

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e...

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Andrew Jenkins will be eternally grateful.
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