EOS A3 SS mods (reversible clip, magnet, and checkering) update 10/11/10
Older posts are labeled in red by date at the bottom of this post.
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I gave away the first SS EOS A3 that's discussed below. I ended up getting another one in a "Christmas Set" with an A6 Polestar (great deal on Ebay, $70 shipped). I decided to have another go at the modifications, with some upgrades.
As you an see, I did a better job on the checkering this time, and more importantly, REVERSIBLE POCKET CLIP FTW!!!!
I simply milled off a the sides of the pre-existing groove near the head/body join, then did the same JB weld fill. I left the lathe marks rough to ensure a good JB weld bond. I may clean them up now, but the clip also grips better, so I probably will deal with "ugly" to have more "useful". I also used the lathe to turn down the JB weld flush with the grip instead of sanding like last time (MUCH EASIER).
Now, the light has a sturdy swivel proof clip that can be quickly reversed for use as a ball cap "head lamp". Unfortunately, the clip is a smidge long for easy tail-standing when reversed, but the magnet makes that irrelevant when the surface is metal.
I also used epoxy instead of superglue to attach the magnet. The superglue on the original EOS broke loose after awhile. I suspect the epoxy will be much more durable (and unfortunately PERMANENT).
Finally, I also added a blob of epoxy to the surface of the magnet, which I lathed off flat after it hardened. This will ensure the magnet is protected from shattering (powerful enough magnet to SNICK to a surface so hard it could break) and it will also be less likely to mar/scratch surfaces it's attached too.
Anyway, hope you enjoy. I consider this baby close to the ultimate "tiny" EDC light. I just wish I could figure out a way to attach a magnet to my D10.
I've been complaining about the lack of traction on the SS EOS A3 since I first got the thing in hand. Slicker than a greased lawyer for mode switching, and it would slide right out of a pocket when clipped. Today I did something about it.
Simply chucked it in a lathe, and 15 minutes later I had some 0.010" deep grooves around it. Worked like a charm.
It's not exactly super grippy, but it's 1000% better than it was. One handed switching is no problem now. The added lengthways traction helps it stay clipped in the pocket better too (even better with the shrink wrap).
I also think it looks better, but that's subjective I guess.
Magnet Mod is so far a complete success. It will require some EDC to determine if it's good. The magnet is also very powerful (see the pictures below), and I'm concerned about credit cards and such. I think a thinner magnet and a washer for space would make this mod "safer" if you're concerned about electronics and magnet strips.
Drilling the magnet out is not trivial. These magnets are counter sunk, and almost clear the key ring nub on their own, but it requires some VERY careful clamping and drilling to wallow out the narrow end of the counter sink, enough for it to seat flush. You do not need to drill all the way through, just open up the small end of the cone. I demolished 2 magnets trying this. A dremel tool may work better. The magnets are very brittle, and the nickel plating is prone to flaking off.
I simply scuffed the light and magnet mating surfaces and applied a ring of very tiny super glue dabs and the bond seems to be "Strong like bull!"
Installed magnet (R822CS) on EOS A3 SS (RA22CS for EOS A2). I also redid the JB weld clip mod and it is holding well so far, with improved fit and finish.
iTP EOS A3 showing off its muscles. I'm not sure the magnet is strong enough, cause who knows when you'll need to suspend 4 or 5 pairs of vice grips.
Got a free iTP EOS A3 in SS (part of A6 Polestar X-mas set), and was really stoked. Turns out the SS model is a hunk o junk in terms of operation/carry compared to the aluminum models. Heavy, head turns harder, grip is slipperier than snake snot, and the pocket clip spins around the barrel like it's on ball bearings. It sure is pretty though.
I love the EOS A3 (wife has a purple one), and was bummed that mine was so bad to deal with. "What to do now?" I asked myself...
Commence the modifications of course...
First I dealt with the rotating pocket clip with some JB weld...
I first sanded the area where the JB weld would go for better bonding (and failed, more on that in a minute). I used tape to protect the areas I wanted to remain shiny. Then I inverted my taping scheme and taped the area where the JB would go and liberally applied silicone grease to work as a releasing agent to prevent JB weld from sticking where I didn't want it. I gooed the barrel and pocket clip sufficiently and applied the JB weld with the clip installed. When it was still soft, I roughly trimmed it to reduce the sanding and detail work later.
Next, after the JB had cured, I taped the shiny areas and sanded the JB weld flush with the barrel. I worked up from 320 to 1500 grit.
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Voila...pocket clip no longer spins, but is still removable.
Unfortunately, I didn't score the barrel enough, and the JB weld cracked off a little on one side. Gonna have to start over, but if I can get it to stick, it will be perfect. This will give me an oportunity to clean up the JB weld job too. I'll probably get some silver hobby paint and paint the JB so it blends better.
Next, I addressed the tail standing issue. Faucet washer from Ace hardware, a little scoring on the top for a good bond, and some super glue.
When I redo the JB weld job, I'll also sand the washer flush with the barrel and probably add some silver paint there as well.
Not too bad if I do say so myself. Not exactly SureFire fit and finish, but I'm more of a utility guy anyway. Tailstanding is a big thing for me, and the light is much easier to use when the clip holds still, and provides a bit more grip for turning the head one handed.
Looks pretty good! Couldn't you have just filed the bottom down a bit for tailstanding purposes as it looks like the hole for the split ring won't be available with your washer mod anyway?
I had a few problems with the clip being a bit loose on my aluminium A3 too, but I just bent the clip bit a bit tighter with some pliers and now it fits fine with a good grip. I'm not sure if that would work on the SS model though..
The magnet idea is pure genius dude. I'm gonna keep my eye out from now on. I'm afraid the SS EOS would be too heavy to stick and hang sideways or upside down, but the Al version should be good. Especially if you can score a good high power Nd magnet. Awesome idea.
Perhaps if you just found a disk magnet of reasonable size, you could carefully drill it and sand it to fit ("normal" magnets have a tendency to flake and fracture so be careful, and rapid movement of a steel bit might demagnitize them).
I just measured my wife's purple aluminum model, and the dimensions are as follows
Split Ring Nub Diameter = 0.155" (3.93 mm) or just under 5/32"
Split Ring Nub Height = 0.087" (2.21 mm) or just under 3/32"
Body Diameter = 0.509" (12.92 mm) or just over 1/2"
Flat Surface on tail (beveled from body) = 0.440" (11.18 mm) or just over 7/16"
As for grinding down the split ring nub, I agree with pri0n, the clip will interfere, although I hadn't thought of that till he mentioned it. Either way, I chose not to destroy the nubbin because someday I may want to hang the light on a keychain or lanyard. With a razor blade, I should easily be able to remove my rubber ring (or magnet hopefully) and polish the surface back to a nice shine for OEM function.
Dang I was excited about those magnets you posted but the cheapest shipping they offer is 5 bucks. you'd think they could just throw them in an envelope but i guess not. maybe they get stuck to stuff if they do. Don't know if its worth 6 bucks right now. Keep us informed if you make that mod though!
I rarely use paypal but I do have an account, and I'll have to figure out postage (probably only $0.75 cents I'm guessing).
Since the Mrs wants some magnets for crafts, and she saw a jewelry clasp thingy she wants, I'm no longer really getting nailed for shipping.
I'll buy a couple different sizes, figure out what works best, and perhaps we can get a group buy thing going in CPFmarketplace. I can't post there yet, but if this works, I'll figure something out.
Please continue to post comments though, and tell me who's interested in a $2.50 magnet mod, so I can judge wether or not it's worth some R&D, and decide how many to buy on the first round. Not really interested in a profit, since I'd have to move billions of the things to make it pay, but I am happy to help out other CPFers.
If I can make it cost effective, pri0n gets a freeby for the good idea!
Magnet is working like a charm, and I loaned it to a couple buddies for a couple of different extended camping trips and both thought it was sweet. Magnet is still in good shape, glue is holding strong as ever, and nobody's credit cards or cell phones stopped functioning.
I'm not ordering any more magnets for awhile, but if I do put in an order, I'll keep everyone who's offered to buy one in mind.