PK Design Lab
Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Talking I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    So check this out. I've been working with Smalley Steel Ring to find a wave spring that will fit the McClicky. This one is 17-7PH stainless so before you get too excited, stainless is a miserable conductor of electricity. In my ideal world they'll custom make springs out of beryllium copper. The only drawback is the massive cost. It would likely double the price of a McClicky. That said, awesome right?

    The main reason I like these springs is they have very large contact area: better for conductivity and less potential to dent the battery. But the real reason is the short current path. In a coil spring the current has to go around and around like the spring was one long piece of wire. With the wave spring each coil touches the next so the path is nearly straight. I'm guesstimating but the difference is 3/8" vs. something like 2 inches. Did I mention they look awesome? I think wave springs should universally replace coil springs in "power" flashlight applications.

    Did I mention they look cool? If you want more blabber you can check out my blog post


  2. #2
    Flashaholic* The_Driver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    812

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    This seems like a really great idea. When I still had my modded maglite with a mcclicky I had problems with the stock spring too (it put a dent in all my batteries).

    Maybe you should talk to mcgizmo about this? Isn't he the one that makes these (or has them made)?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Wow only one reply? I'm surprised. I guess you folks need a little more in order to be impressed....



    24K gold plate?! I actually disassembled the entire switch AND gold plated all of the internals as well. I bought a gold plating kit from Caswell because I'd been wanting...some gold plated stuff. I also gold plated the nickel plated retaining ring just to show off

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    This is NOT a functional mod and will NOT be offered as an upgrade to the Alpha.

    The springs I've been using for prototypes are stainless steel and stainless is an incredibly poor conductor of electricity...much worse than carbon steel...which normal battery springs are made from.

    Unfortunately Smalley only stocks this size spring in stainless, not even carbon steel, and you don't even want to know how much it would cost to have some custom made out of beryllium copper. Something to the effect of each spring will cost as much as a complete McClicky. Still interested? Better raise your hand

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* dlmorgan999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tigard, OR
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    That's really beautiful! Too bad it's not a better conductor. Of course you can't see it during normal use, but the owner would know and that's what counts.
    Here is a list of my lights.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sitting' on the dock o' The Bay...
    Posts
    2,278

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Now if only you can make the McClicky handle more than 5A of current...

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* yifu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    I would be interested if a copper/silver spring mod was offered.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    Now if only you can make the McClicky handle more than 5A of current...
    That was my original intent but all of the internals would have to be copper. Then we'd be talking about a $25 clicky switch. Does that get anyone excited

  9. #9

    Default

    Well, they told me aftermarket drop-in air filter from K&N would help for the quest for more horsepower. They also told me that it would be very expensive.

    So I bit the bullet and bought one set for my car. I felt a perceived 1% increase, maybe..if I'm lucky it won't damage my MAF sensor. But it gave me something to brag about. This is like your Prometheus Spring.

    When you eventually offer one for sale to upgrade the Alpha, Consider my PayPal sent. When the spring is made from super-conductive unobtainium even, I'll buy it.

    Why? I don't know. Upgrades are upgrades. They're cool to have. Necessary, maybe not. Will I want it?

    Hell yeah!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk, please pardon typos.
    Salving Light in a Bastion of Darkness

  10. #10
    Flashaholic Tofty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    If you did sell an uprated mcclicky switch i know i would struggle not to buy one, or more likely several considering all the lights i have which use them (including an alpha).

    Did you ask what kind of minimum order the spring makers would need to justify doing a run of them in beryllium copper in that size?
    I can also see them being a good replacement for driver interface springs.
    Last edited by Tofty; 05-10-2012 at 03:14 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tofty View Post
    If you did sell an uprated mcclicky switch i know i would struggle not to buy one, or more likely several considering all the lights i have which use them (including an alpha).

    Did you ask what kind of minimum order the spring makers would need to justify doing a run of them in beryllium copper in that size?
    I can also see them being a good replacement for driver interface springs.
    Technically there is no minimum on the springs...but they are priced accordingly. The real limitation is the minimum order on new McClicky switches...which is an official boat load. I won't say how many switches that would be but I'll tell you it's about $9,000 in springs

    You are also reading my mind on the driver springs. That's what got this whole thing started. Then I wanted to make the McClicky spring and the driver spring at least "similar" spring rates to balance out the force and help eliminate dented batteries. Of course now we are taking a $6.00 driver and turning it into a $15 driver without any real performance increase...besides mechanical. Of course I still want to do it

    I'd suggest that if anyone wants the remotest chance of seeing an upgraded McClicky they should tell all of their friends to post here...and maybe their friends and relative too Of course I'd love to hear from any retailers or flashlight manufacturers that would want to use these...if you resemble this remark please feel free to PM or email me directly.
    Last edited by archer6817j; 05-10-2012 at 08:15 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Stainless...Nice
    Gold Plated...Very Nice indeed.
    Any chance of just upgrading the switch w/ carbon steel type spring for the time being?
    Lightsolo

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Hi folks, I think I've found a way to reliably remove the stock spring and install a wave spring...as opposed to having thousands manufactured from scratch. Right now it looks like the price for a McClicky with a Be-CU gold plated wave spring will be about $17.50. Would anyone be interested at this price?

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by archer6817j View Post
    Hi folks, I think I've found a way to reliably remove the stock spring and install a wave spring...as opposed to having thousands manufactured from scratch. Right now it looks like the price for a McClicky with a Be-CU gold plated wave spring will be about $17.50. Would anyone be interested at this price?
    I think in order for me to feel justified in that, I'd want to first hear some about the benefits of the new spring style. I really like the idea of it, but I want to know how it will perform. Any extra minutes on low mode, due to decreased resistance? Less likely to dent my battery? Longer switch life? I just need to know what I'd be paying for, then I'd know if it us worth an extra $9.

    Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse brevity and typos.

  15. #15
    nfetterly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cincinnati area, but lots of travel
    Posts
    2,417

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by archer6817j View Post
    Hi folks, I think I've found a way to reliably remove the stock spring and install a wave spring...as opposed to having thousands manufactured from scratch. Right now it looks like the price for a McClicky with a Be-CU gold plated wave spring will be about $17.50. Would anyone be interested at this price?
    yep at least one...


  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    It strikes me as a sub-optimal design, actually. With a coil spring, conductivity is continuous along the length of the spring wire, from tip to base. The only mechanical interface points are at the ends of the spring. With a wave spring, however, there is a mechanical interface point where each wave-ring contacts the next, so you have many more interface points. Anyone who works with electronics knows that mechanical interfaces introduce significant electrical resistance, especially if the interface points have small surface area like these springs have, which is why the best electrical connections are welded and the second-best are soldered. Just having two pieces of metal touching each other is quite inefficient electrically, especially when shoving multiple amps through each interface point, which probably has a lot to do with the poor conductivity you're seeing.

    Also, electrical conductivity of wire is affected by the cross-sectional area of the wire as well as the length of the wire. The flat wire those wave springs are assembled from has an incredibly small cross-sectional area. Even though there are 4 separate zig-zag paths the electricity can take simultaneously, the total cross-sectional area of those paths added together looks to be only slightly larger than the original coil spring wire. Also the total distance traveled by the electricity is not going to be substantially different from the original coil spring, because the electricity will still have to zig-zag between interface points as it moves from one ring to the next. Given the number of rings in that wave spring, I'm going to guesstimate that all the zig-zags added together will equal a longer distance than with the original coil spring.

    If you want to mod a McClicky switch so it's less likely to dent batteries, it would probably be simpler to sand-down the end of the stock spring to produce a flat surface, and then solder a copper disc on the end to increase the contact area with the battery, similar to the design of the springs in the Ra Clicky. It would also be easier to procure small copper discs rather than whole new springs, and easier to perform the mod since nothing would need to be disassembled.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 06-08-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    Now if only you can make the McClicky handle more than 5A of current...
    I believe the FETtie switch will handle upwards of 25 amps. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...89#post3779589
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 06-08-2012 at 02:20 PM.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Benton Illinois
    Posts
    6,225

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    I believe the FETtie switch will handle upwards of 25 amps. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...89#post3779589
    +1

    Is there any advantage of the McClickie over the FETtie for a high amp application?
    Surefire® boring including E-Series & Weapon Lights, gun repairs, blueing & custom work * PM's disabled * Please Email & PayPal through www:Precision.Works

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    Now if only you can make the McClicky handle more than 5A of current...
    To be honest, I don't think the McClicky can really handle more than 3 amps of current. Even at that level the spring gets really hot to the touch. I know people have used it up to 5A but I can't imagine (long term) it would stand up to extended use without melting all of the plastic inside the switch. If the spring is getting hot, I don't know what that says for the tiny pieces inside. Maybe they are small enough that the current path is really short and the resistance isn't that high, or at least it makes the bottleneck the spring. Reducing the resistance in the spring would certainly increase run times and brightness...but who knows how much.

    I measured the resistance at .5 ohms with the spring. Measuring directly from the next point of contact .2 ohms...so the spring itself is around .3 ohms. So, you are wasting almost a watt in the spring. If anyone is curious, I tested the 17-7 stainless spring...2.5 ohms of resistance...so no chance that will work I put it on the sphere just for fun and the output is about half of normal.

    The FETtie is a great idea...if you want to spend $48 on a switch that requires you to change it's batteries. I think if you want to run >5 amps of current then it's totally worth it...because there is no other way to do it. Even though that once cell lasts "forever" I still don't want to be worrying about what situation I'll be in when it actually goes dead. It's also a reverse clicky, which is not my personal preference.

    My original idea was to completely re-manufacture the McClicky with all copper internals and a copper wave spring. I think that could handle (guessing) maybe up to 10 amps without putting up much complaint. Then if you want to go over that, the FETie is a great choice. However, the realitiy of manufacturing rears it's ugly head. I'm guessing it would be at least a 5,000 pc minimum and they will be magnitudes more expensive than the original McClicky. Which is a really smart design for a mechanical clicky by the way...if you've never opened one up. Anyway, if I was Surefire I'd be collaborating with Don on that project in a heartbeat. Then there would be copper McClicky's for all Even getting the wave spring in copper at a volume of 3000 pcs is going to be like $6 just for the spring.

    Okay, here is my ask: I need a patron that will fund bringing more awesomeness to the flashlight world, cost be damned I have a laundry list of stuff I want to do and not the money nor the time...the former being able to compensate for the latter. Who's up for buying something like 5,000 McClicky switches? I'll have them made and give them away just to make the world a brighter place

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Might want to talk to TnC, Mac, and Oveready. They all make high-power lights using McClickies. Oveready is also a common destination for people who are searching for high-end parts. The Sandwich Shoppe and LightHound also seem like vendors to talk to.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 06-10-2012 at 04:53 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by archer6817j View Post
    Hi folks, I think I've found a way to reliably remove the stock spring and install a wave spring...as opposed to having thousands manufactured from scratch. Right now it looks like the price for a McClicky with a Be-CU gold plated wave spring will be about $17.50. Would anyone be interested at this price?
    YES!!! Contact me !!!

  22. #22

    Default

    I would be interested in one or 2 also.

  23. #23

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    I really like this. It is great to see that you are pushing your designs and trying different ideas, and the most important thing is that you are sharing this information as you go through the process so we can understand the materials, what happened when you tried it and if it would work for either custom or production models.

    Kevin

  24. #24
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: I modded a McClicky! (pics)

    Hey, so did you guys figure out how to solve this one? Also, I don't manufacture/mod flashlights for a living so please help me flesh this problem out so I can better understand. What would be the incremental cost/flashlight increase for you to switch to the beryllium copper for, say one or two yrs worth of flashlight sales? I mean, you already have the cost of an existing spring, then you have to manually replace it, i.e. are we talking $25, $35, $50, etc on the pass through to your customer? I ask because its an interesting idea that gives you a potential quality advantage relative to the other high end competitor offerings. I would think you could increase prices an incremental amount if the quality justifies it... especially if we are talking < $25 here, but that's just me. Personal disclaimer: I haven't bought a Prometheus light yet, but I REALLY want to.

    Rhett

    Quote Originally Posted by python View Post
    YES!!! Contact me !!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •