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Thread: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* srvctec's Avatar
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    Default Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Thought this might come in handy for those who wanted to know how the clicky for the L1P works. It works just like some ball point pens- as I suspected. The part right under the button mates with the metal part below it and rotates in and out of grooves to make and break contact with the 2 sides of the switch while the actual button does not rotate, being held in place by the grooves in the housing.

    Pics are worth a 1,000 words!






















    Last edited by srvctec; 03-29-2006 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Looks simple enough to be fairly reliable. Mine has a red button -- a change in manufacturing, maybe?
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* srvctec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot
    Looks simple enough to be fairly reliable. Mine has a red button -- a change in manufacturing, maybe?
    Actually that's the old [unreliable] style. Mine seemed like it was starting to act up, so I got the new style which has the red button.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    What's the mechanical difference? (Aside from color, that is.)
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* srvctec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot
    What's the mechanical difference? (Aside from color, that is.)
    Don't know- I don't have a spare red buttoned switch to cannibalize and am not willing to do it to the one on my light. I suspect it may have a stronger spring since my yellow buttoned one seemed like it didn't want to pop back up after operating it- like it was on the verge of sticking, although it never did.

  6. #6
    Enlightened DonnyD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Great pics! Thanks. I also had to replace my "yellow" switch with a new "red" one. It started to stick regularly, but it never actually quit on me, and it never even got worse after the sticking began. I thought that "broken but reliable" was a weird way to be, so I waited about a month before I replaced it .

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* TORCH_BOY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Great shots,

    Your right, it works exactly like a ball point pen,
    very basic, but it works

  8. #8

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    I took apart the switches in a couple of cheap chinese aluminum flashlights in the last couple of days. They used the same type of switching mechanism.
    I was able to get them to work much more reliably.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    The switch should be reliable. The spring that returns the switch will be the weak point and i suspect if the switch starts to play up then the spring needs replacing if that is possible. A little bit of silicone lubricant on the plastic bits will probably do the switch a world of good.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Hello srvctec

    Nice thread with nice pictures

    Best regards

    _____
    Tom

  11. #11

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Many clickes work like that, even the pull string light switch.
    Just for build quality comparison, these are pictures of a tick switch (the type of switch used on TV front panel buttons. Personally, I think this switch is built to much higher quality.

    Exterior: 1/2" x 1/2"


    Components


    The base has two side contacts for the dome contact to rest on and the center contact. On top, sits a concave shaped "dome contact". followed by rubber gasket, plastic spacer and plastic button.

    Base

    Notice the quality of plastic molding and care thats been put into small details.

    OMRON B3W-4000
    actuation force 200g
    rated for 0.05A 24V
    service life: 3 million operations, minimum.

    The switches used for LaCrosse BC-900 charger is similar in construction, but they're built right onto the circuit board and the contact surface is similar to the finish used in the switch original poster posted. It became unreliable soon and switching to real tick switches fixed the problem and is doing very well. Reliability of a switch has everything to do with the surface finish of the contacts.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNinja
    I took apart the switches in a couple of cheap chinese aluminum flashlights in the last couple of days. They used the same type of switching mechanism.
    I was able to get them to work much more reliably.
    The switch on my L1 and L1P both stick and malfuntion as described above.

    I am quite disappointed that Fenix uses a printed circuit foil contact for the positive contact and according to the pictures above also depends on a foil contact for the negative - inside the switch.

    A $40 flashlight should have a reliable switch in it.
    Last edited by thelightdude; 10-08-2006 at 06:30 AM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic cloud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Srvctec, excellent information

    Btw, the switch mechanism's on both my fenix's feel different to me..( ie.. pressure required to switch on-off ).
    perhaps I'll now will take them apart, & apply a little electrical lube, can't see any harm in trying to improve the switch... my only gripe with the lights.
    cloud

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Thanks for sharing very insightful photography!
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

  15. #15
    Flashaholic cloud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Just for build quality comparison, these are pictures of a tick switch (the type of switch used on TV front panel buttons. Personally, I think this switch is built to much higher quality.

    Exterior: 1/2" x 1/2"


    Components


    Base
    details.

    OMRON B3W-4000
    actuation force 200g
    rated for 0.05A 24V
    service life: 3 million operations, minimum.

    handl.. interesting info.. do ya feel these could be modded into existing tailcaps. have you experience of using these 'tick switches' or similar.

    the service life of 3mill operations coupled with short travel actuation operation interests me.

    thanks
    cloud

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* NutSAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Thanks for the pics! I've had the switch in a Huntlight FT-01 apart and it is of the same design, as are many reverse-clickies I would assume. The Fenix switch appears to be more robust than the one in the FT-01. The Fenix contact plates and spring are larger.
    - Terry

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* srvctec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    Many clickes work like that, even the pull string light switch.
    Just for build quality comparison, these are pictures of a tick switch (the type of switch used on TV front panel buttons. Personally, I think this switch is built to much higher quality.

    OMRON B3W-4000
    actuation force 200g
    rated for 0.05A 24V
    service life: 3 million operations, minimum.
    I believe the type you mention are much better, however their main drawback is their extremely low current handling ability. .05A I believe is much less current than the L1P and the majority of lights in this form factor put through the switch and so these could not be used anyway. Besides, I have worked on copiers, printers and fax machines for the last 18 years and have replaced numerous switches of the "tick switch" type made exactly as depicted above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    Reliability of a switch has everything to do with the surface finish of the contacts.
    I agree totally with this statement, however, if the switch can't handle the current flowing through it, then it doesn't matter how good the surface finish is.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic cloud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Thanks srvctec

    I didnt read about the rated current switching capacity 0.05amp.. missed that bit myself.. am at bit tired

    so it looks like it wont be of use...
    cloud

  19. #19

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by srvctec
    I believe the type you mention are much better, however their main drawback is their extremely low current handling ability. .05A
    Yep, it's limiting. I was simply showing a switch from a company with global reputation for making swtiches just so you can see the quality difference. The actual spec is one thing, but you could look at different designs and often time, quality of design or workmanship still shows regardless of size.

    Remeber 0.05A is the current rating for guaranteed service life though. In reality, some small switches aren't even rated and classified "general purpose" unless they have to bear a rating for regulatory compliance (i.e. power switch has to be UL rated).

    I believe is much less current than the L1P and the majority of lights in this form factor put through the switch and so these could not be used anyway. Besides, I have worked on copiers, printers and fax machines for the last 18 years and have replaced numerous switches of the "tick switch" type made exactly as depicted above.
    It's clearly exceeding the spec, but it might survive 1A at 3v as there's not much arc at that voltage. Who knows though. Also, copiers used in locations where service techs have a contract tend to be in an environment with frustrated button masher type users and this maybe a contributing factor to a failure.


    I agree totally with this statement, however, if the switch can't handle the current flowing through it, then it doesn't matter how good the surface finish is.
    Good is relative. There's an appropriate type of contact mechanism and material depending for each application. Use of generic switch is acceptable and inevitable on a $4.99 cheap light, but there's higher standards of expectation for a flashlight that cost $45.

    The relay inside microwave oven switches about a dozen amp of highly inductive load at 120v AC. It cycles on and off every ten second or so if you're using defrost mode or reduced power and it still works fine after tens of thousands of cycles.

    Try that with relay contacts made from something like the Fenix switch.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Handy,

    That switch is completely different than what is on a Fenix. The Fenix is
    a latching type. Also, your switch is rated 50ma!!! Typical Fenix
    draws 750ma. These are two completely different switches.

    It looks like you're baiting - just as you have been in other threads.

    I have stated before and will again, I'll replace anyone's switch module
    if it's giving problems. If you don't want to replace it yourself, you can send
    in the tailcap module.

    -4sevens
    Last edited by 4sevens; 10-08-2006 at 03:39 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by 4sevens
    Handy,

    That switch is completely different than what is on a Fenix. The Fenix is
    a latching type. Also, your switch is rated 50ma!!! Typical Fenix
    draws 750ma.
    -4sevens
    What are the rated specifications on the Fenix switch and what's the manufacturer's specified service life?

    Leave it up to the readers to look at all the pictures and visualize quality.


    4sevens, why do you follow me around on message boards?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    What are the rated specifications on the Fenix switch and what's the manufacturer's specified service life?

    Leave it up to the readers to look at all the pictures and visualize quality.
    That momentary switch is definitely rated no more than 50ma.
    It's designed for electrical signals, not power. If you were to put half the
    current a Fenix uses through that little switch, I'm sure it'll fail due to
    overcurrent. it's not designed for that kind of current.

    I didn't imply anything about quality. I'm just stating that you are comparing
    apples to oranges.

    What are you talking about following you? Why are you posting irrelevant material on Fenix related threads?

    EDIT: looks like it's rated even less!! 1ma versus 750ma a Fenix uses
    What is your point?
    Last edited by 4sevens; 10-08-2006 at 04:08 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by 4sevens
    It's definitely rated more than 50ma that the momentary switch you have shown. If you were to put half the current through that little switch, I'm
    sure it'll fail due to overcurrent. it's not designed for that kind of current.
    Data please?
    I could say the pictured switch was for 0.5A, but I went by what was provided in data.


    I didn't imply anything about quality. I'm just stating that you are comparing
    apples to oranges.
    You could still compare quality.

    What are you talking about following you? Why are you posting irrelevant material on Fenix related threads?
    Everytime I post in a Fenix thread, it seems like you have to have a word in it.

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    No Handy, I think YOU have to stick you nose into every Fenix thread lately.
    You are right on the edge of Baiting here.

    You posting that switch, had nothing to do with the fenix switch,
    seemed your only goal there was to try to point out that there are better switches then what are used in the Fenix.

    ~John

  25. #25

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by 4sevens

    EDIT: looks like it's rated even less!! 1ma versus 750ma a Fenix uses

    What is your point?
    Looks like you simply don't know how to read the datasheet correctly. Did you not see the notation "min."? That's an older print, but the newer print I was able to find seems to be more noob friendly.
    http://www.omron.com/ecb/products/sw/2/b3w.html#Ratings

    5<v<24
    1mA < I < 50mA

    "permissible load xxmA xxV min" means the the minimum required for reliable operation. If you were to use this switch for 1uA 0.1v, the signal output might not be reliable.

    My point is there are better quality switches out there and certain the expectation for switch quality is higher on a $45 flashlight than a cheapo light.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    You point exactly, that switch was designed for signal and NOT power. Those are debouncing specifications that are required for signal reading.

    Reading you better quoted specifications, that switch is actually terrible for anything
    passing through current through it due to it's high contact resistance.
    0.1 ohms at 5v. If you were to actually use that switch in a fenix, you would lose
    significant amount of energy through that switch.

    You keep pointing out switch quality difference, but how can you point out the
    difference if you don't have your specification right? You don't even have the specification for the fenix switches so how can you keep saying ... "My point is there are better quality switches out there and certain the expectation for switch quality is higher on a $45 flashlight than a cheapo light."

    My point is this. You are comparing apples and oranges. 1) the switch isn't even
    the latching type. 2) The switch is a signal type switch is not designed for conducting
    power.

    What exactly is your point?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* srvctec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by jtice
    No Handy, I think YOU have to stick you nose into every Fenix thread lately.
    You are right on the edge of Baiting here.

    You posting that switch, had nothing to do with the fenix switch,
    seemed your only goal there was to try to point out that there are better switches then what are used in the Fenix.

    ~John
    I'd have to agree with this totally. I started this thread and don't recall anything mentioned in my original post about posting pics and info about other switches. This thread was simply to show how the inside of a Fenix L1P switch (reverse clickie) was made and nothing more.

  28. #28
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Handlobraesing,

    I've actually used those types of OMRON switches, and they are most definitely not going to hold up very long at 1A thru them.

    Your switch would most definitely be something prone to failure in this application.
    Your example is like stating a BMW is really high quality, and is better than a tank. But not understanding that the BMW doesn't hold up well when it is hit by 50 cal machine gun fire.

    If you'd like to be helpful, go find a latching push switch that fits within the form factor, handles the current, rated for 1,000,000 cycles, and is in the 1 dollar range or less.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie
    Handlobraesing,

    I've actually used those types of OMRON switches, and they are most definitely not going to hold up very long at 1A thru them.
    Of coruse they're not gonna be reliable with 1A through them. How do you find the quality of construction of the Fenix switch srvctec found to be unreliable compared to the OMRON?

    Your example is like stating a BMW is really high quality, and is better than a tank. But not understanding that the BMW doesn't hold up well when it is hit by 50 cal machine gun fire.
    Not considering the application, you can still compare the two for quality of build.

    If you'd like to be helpful, go find a latching push switch that fits within the form factor, handles the current, rated for 1,000,000 cycles, and is in the 1 dollar range or less.
    On a $45 flashlight, I would have thought it could use something that cost more than a 99 cent Cheeserburger.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Inside the Fenix L1P switch

    This thread has drifted too far off topic to be saved.

    Thread closed

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