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Firehouse Technologies AC Strobe Failures

Hugabeen

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Fellow pilots. I own several Anti Collision strobes from Firehouse Technologies. More that $150 invested in them. I've had three anti-collision strobes from Firehouse Technologies fail within the past 2 weeks. One was an apparent battery failure on the green cree strobe, another was the battery life on the white only cree strobe is about 5 minutes max and the other was an led failure (The ARC II Tri color strobe with Red Green and White) The red strobe stopped working.

No crashes, moistures or improper charging/storage.

Customer service seems more interested in asking redundant questions in repeated email correspondence than actually doing anything meaningful about the problem. These strobes are going to be expensive if I have to buy new ones every month or two.

My question for those of you who have purchased or used these:

Have you had any similar battery or led failures? If so, what was your experience with FHT customer service? Are there other more reliable options out there for small, effective AC strobes that will fit the M2P?

Thanks,
 
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I have used the ARC-series strobes since they started selling them...single and tri-color for many hours without a single failure on Spark, Mavic Pro and Inspire 1/2 birds...

Ok...I have to ask; what are you using as a USB charger for the strobes? There is a possibility that the charger (or cables) are inducing spikes into the strobes...or the charger is not feeding the correct voltage/current. I’m not saying that is the root cause of your problem, but worth checking out.

It can easily be tested with one of these - $10.88USD Amazon Prime:
27291c3634e9004a09ebebc75dd7ade1.jpg


Eversame USB Digital Power Meter Tester Multimeter Current and Voltage Monitor, DC 5.1A 30V Amp Voltage Power Meter, Test Speed of Chargers, Cables, Capacity of Power Banks-Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D9Y6ZFW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_2z2YBb4PSCAVT
 
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I have used the ARC-series strobes since they started selling them...single and tri-color for many hours without a single failure on Spark, Mavic Pro and Inspire 1/2 birds...

Ok...I have to ask; what are you using as a USB charger for the strobes? There is a possibility that the charger (or cables) are inducing spikes into the strobes...or the charger is not feeding the correct voltage/current. I’m not saying that is the root cause of your problem, but worth checking out.

It can easily be tested with one of these - $10.88USD Amazon Prime:
27291c3634e9004a09ebebc75dd7ade1.jpg


Eversame USB Digital Power Meter Tester Multimeter Current and Voltage Monitor, DC 5.1A 30V Amp Voltage Power Meter, Test Speed of Chargers, Cables, Capacity of Power Banks-Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D9Y6ZFW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_2z2YBb4PSCAVT
I have used only the supplied cables that were recommended by the manufacturer and they have only been plugged into 1.4 amp USB chargers. One of these is a cigarette lighter adapter and the other is a wall adapter. I haven't bothered to test the voltage output because those types of things aren't really on my radar per se but I certainly could. The most recent failure on the tricolor strobe was only with the red LED. The green and white still function as normal. The single red strobe still works perfectly. The single green strobe indicates that it's charging when plugged in and is immediately dead when removed from the power source and will not function. The single white strobe indicates charging with its flash pattern for about 3 or 4 flashes and then goes to a solid white color indicating that it is full. When I turn it on it functions as normal however the battery only lasts for 4 or 5 minutes. I imagine what you are suggesting is possible although I don't have the technical know how to diagnose things the way you are recommending. It seems like it should be pretty straight-forward and foolproof if you're following the manufacturer's recommendations that the product should continue to work as normal.
 
If some of the LEDs work it’s likely a cold solder joint or bad driver chip output...smells like a component/assembly error to me.

The battery life problem is likely a bad battery...but on that one take out a magnifying glass and inspect the contacts in the micro USB port on the strobe...make sure there isn’t crud or corrosion in there....or a piece of that lovely clear plastic shrink-wrap they use to cover the unit (I had to use a razor blade to trim that stuff back on one of mine when new before initial charge).
 
Anyone know the proper charging amps? I just got my strobes in. I was planning on using IPhone USB 1.5A adapte or IPad 2.0A adapter.

Thanks
 
When I first started looking at these (now have 15 or so various strobes of theirs), I found threads here where there was a problem with the circuit board.
From memory it was a charging / lights indicator issue, not sure about low charging of the lipo.

FHT were very good about rectifying and replacing defective strobes, that's why I decided to go with them, once the problem was sorted, and then waited a short time to confirm new stock was aok.
They shorted the order a strobe by mistake, acknowledged this when I emailed, and sent another to repaced the missing one without question.

I'm surprised FHT seem to be stringing this out for you, but maybe the questions need to be asked to ensure they can't assist without returning.
Possibly bear with them.

I use any sort of USB output, Apple charger mains adapters, various USB charging hubs I have, car USB sockets, portable power banks . . . and use any USB - micro USB cable, the short ones from FHT, or longer ones.
No issues ever.

Having problems with 3 of them is not good, I'm thinking if you have owned these for a while, maybe you have some of the back board stock ??
I will try and find the post(S) with FHT strobe problem for you . . .

******

Uh oh, searching for that other thread (no luck) I just noticed the DATE of this post !!
From the dates, I think @Hugabeen may have been mixed up in that bad stock, and hopefully got it sorted.

AN UPDATE WOULD BE GREAT . . . posted yesterday, so here somewhere :)
 
Last edited:
When I first started looking at these (now have 15 or so various strobes of theirs), I found threads here where there was a problem with the circuit board.
From memory it was a charging / lights indicator issue, not sure about low charging of the lipo.

FHT were very good about rectifying and replacing defective strobes, that's why I decided to go with them, once the problem was sorted, and then waited a short time to confirm new stock was aok.
They shorted the order a strobe by mistake, acknowledged this when I emailed, and sent another to repaced the missing one without question.

I'm surprised FHT seem to be stringing this out for you, but maybe the questions need to be asked to ensure they can't assist without returning.
Possibly bear with them.

I use any sort of USB output, Apple charger mains adapters, various USB charging hubs I have, car USB sockets . . . and use any USB - micro USB cable, the short ones from FHT, or longer ones.
No issues ever.

Having problems with 3 of them is not good, I'm thinking if you have owned these for a while, maybe you have some of the back board stock ??
I will try and find the post(S) with FHT strobe problem for you . . .

******

Uh oh, searching for that other thread (no luck) I just noticed the DATE of this post !!
From the dates, I think @Hugabeen may have been mixed up in that bad stock, and hopefully got it sorted.

AN UPDATE WOULD BE GREAT . . . posted yesterday, so here somewhere :)
Yeah. I kind of spaced keeping an eye on this older post. FHT has been really helpful when I have contacted them by email. I still have strobes that I have purchased in the last 6 months from today's date that have had led failures and I have just bought new ones instead of going through the process of asking for Replacements because I think I'm going to sound like a broken record. They are still the very best for the purpose intended and I hope they continue to improve the boards and reliability.
 
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I just got 4 lights in yesterday. They came fully charged so I have not had to charge anything yet.

What exactly is the proper method and proper equipment to charge them?

I found this on Amazon and was going to order it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OQ19QYA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A32BDIEK75ANF5&psc=1

Is this the proper piece of equipment or should I try and find something else?

Thanks,

Jerry
FHT customer service advised that I charge them on a low voltage USB port to reduce the risk of damage from overcharging but the overcharging circuit should protect them in most cases.
 
Thanks for the update.
Shame about the original lights, maybe just send them to FHT, with a print out of your previous emails with them . . .
They might come good and you can have some spares.

The new lights have been in use for some time ?
Think they'll be fine.
I haven't read anywhere about the FHT lights failing after 2, 3 years or more, but not sure how long they've had them in the marketplace.

Their other lighting cubes seem to be their core biz, the strobes an add on, probably same manufacturer in China or wherever..
 
I have used the ARC-series strobes since they started selling them...single and tri-color for many hours without a single failure on Spark, Mavic Pro and Inspire 1/2 birds...

Ok...I have to ask; what are you using as a USB charger for the strobes? There is a possibility that the charger (or cables) are inducing spikes into the strobes...or the charger is not feeding the correct voltage/current. I’m not saying that is the root cause of your problem, but worth checking out.

It can easily be tested with one of these - $10.88USD Amazon Prime:
27291c3634e9004a09ebebc75dd7ade1.jpg


Eversame USB Digital Power Meter Tester Multimeter Current and Voltage Monitor, DC 5.1A 30V Amp Voltage Power Meter, Test Speed of Chargers, Cables, Capacity of Power Banks-Black Eversame USB Digital Power Meter Tester Multimeter Current and Voltage Monitor, DC 5.1A 30V Amp Voltage Power Meter, Test Speed of Chargers, Cables, Capacity of Power Banks-Black: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
Thanks for this, it looks like a handy tool to have.
 
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