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; 10-05-2015 at 05:38 PM.
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.
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.
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
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!
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