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Thread: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

  1. #1
    lightknot's Avatar
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    Default Vital Gear switch replacement tutorials.

    Vital Gear Switch Replacement Tutorials
    Low Current Option (Written by lightknot for replacement of a stock Vital Gear switch with another stock switch.)
    This swap is very easy. Only one tool is needed, a pair of needle nose pliers or snap ring pliers. A pair of snap ring pliers was used for this tutorial. (A big screwdriver or even a paper clip will work.)

    Unscrew tailcap/ switch assemby.

    Use snap ring pliers to remove brass retaining ring from inside the tailcap.

    Push on outside end of rubber boot and the switch will pop out.

    Reverse the procedure to install new switch.

    This is not how it should look when you put the new switch in.

    Push the rubber boot from the inside all the way until it seats. Then insert the new switch, white button first.
    This is how it should look. Notice that the switch is sunken down below the threads of the tailcap:

    Install the retaining ring manually. Make sure that the switch is seated properly in the boot and the brass ring before tightening. The circuit board of the switch must make contact with the brass ring. This is necessary to properly complete the electrical path. This step is not difficult, the switch will seat naturally and look like the picture below.

    Then tighten with the snap ring pliers. Do not over tighten.

    Screw the tailcap assembly back onto the body tube, assemble the head, and test.

    High Current Option:
    (Written by nein166, reposted with permission.)
    Another option is to replace the switch entirely with a DX reverse clikie high current switch.
    Here is the light and the DX 11mm clickie

    Bend the tabs out straight and very quickly solder a short spring on.

    Now I found it necessary to dremel the hole the rubber boot fits in since the clickie is fatter than the micro-switch. Once the light is together the grind is not visible.

    Insert the boot it should still be really tight.

    And then press the clickie in there, its going to be really tight.

    That's it just screw in the gold ring and put on the body. Don't try clicking it with out the light together since the clickie could pop apart. Maybe some glue along the tabs would keep this from happening. But as long as the batteries are in it should be fine.

    More info will become available as testing progresses. Comments welcome.
    Edit by Lightknot: By far the hardest part of this conversion is soldering the spring to the switch without melting the switch. I am supplying gold springs (as of OCT 2105) which flow solder very well. However, soldering skills are required!
    Last edited by lightknot; 05-06-2016 at 10:26 AM. Reason: reorganized

  2. #2
    lightknot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Tutorial updated.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Thanks for the Tutorial as i have a few Vital Gear bodies , but none require a new switch yet

  4. #4
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Thank you for the tutorial.

    Could you explain what makes the switch goes bad in the first place, and what can be done to prevent the switch from going bad once a replacement is found? I'm actually looking for a replacement switch. Have been for awhile now.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Blight; 12-07-2011 at 06:19 PM.

  5. #5
    lightknot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Vital Gear Switches were manufactured in several varieties. The first was a twisty, there was a push button leaf spring version and a push button coil spring version. The leaf spring model had small tabs which could be bent to make the electrical connection, but could also bend "in" which would disconnect the flow of electricity. They were replaced by the (much more efficient) coil spring. The usual reason that Vital Gear switches "go bad" is because the connection between the switch and the brass retaining ring is interrupted. This can be due to the fragility of the switch itself, or simply a loose connection. (See step in red in post #1.) Stock Vital Gear coil spring switches are available at this time. (Vital Gear Sales in the marketplace) Vital Gear FBSW switches are rated at 1.2 amps. When used with high power drop-ins, including triples and quads, they can go . In this case, a good option is to use a high current switch from DX. Details of this mod in post #1 as well. Questions/ comments welcomed.
    Last edited by lightknot; 12-31-2011 at 02:00 PM. Reason: reorganized

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Low Current and High Current options now covered.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Does anyone have a link to purchase the DX 11mm switches?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Docherty View Post
    Does anyone have a link to purchase the DX 11mm switches?
    Its item number 5588 on dealextreme

    Please take extreme care in trying to solder on a spring, I've melted a few switches in the process, really can't spend more than 3 seconds on the contact plate with an iron
    also clamp the switch in a helping hands, get the spring hot first holding it with tweezers and bring the spring and iron down to the switch together.
    Give the switch time to cool before attempting to add more solder, good solder flux really helps, not the plumbers type kester

  9. #9
    lightknot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    High current switch link (as of January 2012)Clicky-switch-for-flashlights-11mm-5-pack-5588

  10. #10
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    Default

    High current and stock replacement switches also available in the Vital Gear Sales thread in the Marketplace.
    Last edited by lightknot; 07-16-2012 at 02:48 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Great info, thanks buddy!
    Matt

  12. #12

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Also great info, one thing to add though. If you sweat a little solder on the bottom of the spring fist, then a little on the switch all you have to do is touch them together with your iron and as soon as one or the other is hot enough to melt the solder, take away the heat quickly. It works very fast and doing it this way will keep the heat out of the switch since you only need heat there for a split second. Good flux is mandatory!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Yes Pontiaker very good point. If you don't have a spring with Silver or gold plating its going to take some heat to tin it. Best to do that first
    I put the switch in an aluminum vise so one jaw holds the edge of the switch plate it keeps it from overheating and helps to center the spring

  14. #14
    lightknot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    High current switches back in stock on the website.
    Last edited by lightknot; 09-15-2013 at 08:20 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    We have finally sourced some good gold springs for the high current switches.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Vital Gear replacement switches are in stock. Please see the signature link.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Original post edited with soldering info.
    High Current Switches are in stock and available at fourleafflashlights.com

  18. #18
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightknot View Post
    Original post edited with soldering info.
    High Current Switches are in stock and available at fourleafflashlights.com
    I'm having issues with the stock switch not working well, this is very useful. Thank you. Hope the switches are still available.
    Surefire backup, Beretta, Microtech, fanboy.
    Current EDC-Copper Toolvn-E1D-SF Titan A with clicky.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorials.

    They are at this time.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    I am going to have to do the High Current mod in the near future. I know its a older thread, but thank you guys, for compiling and posting all that.
    Curious if the high current switches are silent like the stock switches are? I doubt they are, just wondering.
    Wanted to Buy Saltytri
    Come to the Light

  21. #21
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    Default Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    The high current switches have an audible "click" and they are reverse clickys as opposed to forward.
    Last edited by lightknot; 02-14-2016 at 07:16 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    I need to try the switch conversion again! Out of 3 high current switches I managed to melt all three while soldering on the spring.
    #75

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdboy View Post
    I need to try the switch conversion again! Out of 3 high current switches I managed to melt all three while soldering on the spring.
    There is a trick to it. The plastic body is going soften due to the heat being applied to the solder pad when you are getting the solder hot enough to melt. And the solder pad will get pushed out away from the plastic body since the inner contact spring has some tension on it. I'm sure that is obvious enough to all. The trick is to hold down the spring/ solder pad with a set needle nose pliers (that's at least how I do it) or tweezers while keeping the pad from getting pushed out of the body. Once the melted plastic body gets hard again you can release the downward pressure on the spring and your done!

    It takes a bit of getting used to but when lightknot explained it to me it made perfect sense. Hope you don't mind me posting in your build post.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Quote Originally Posted by m4a1usr View Post
    There is a trick to it. The plastic body is going soften due to the heat being applied to the solder pad when you are getting the solder hot enough to melt. And the solder pad will get pushed out away from the plastic body since the inner contact spring has some tension on it. I'm sure that is obvious enough to all. The trick is to hold down the spring/ solder pad with a set needle nose pliers (that's at least how I do it) or tweezers while keeping the pad from getting pushed out of the body. Once the melted plastic body gets hard again you can release the downward pressure on the spring and your done!

    It takes a bit of getting used to but when lightknot explained it to me it made perfect sense. Hope you don't mind me posting in your build post.

    ^This is VERY important!!^


    jdboy contact me, I will get you some new switches, if you haven't sourced them already.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightknot View Post

    ^This is VERY important!!^


    jdboy contact me, I will get you some new switches, if you haven't sourced them already.
    Thanks for the offer but I don't think I should ask you to replace switches that I messed up myself.
    #75

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Vital Gear switch replacement tutorial.

    Ok, No problem, just thought I'd offer.

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