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Thread: Piezo Switch Experts

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Piezo Switch Experts

    So I have decided to drink the piezo switch Kool-aid and was wondering a few things:
    1. I guess they are not affected by any water pressure while diving?
    2. Are there any temperature effects that should be taken into account?
    3. I want to mount on the canister and run 4 conductor cable to the head while using a Taskled H6Flex... I would tie 2 conductors to the H6flex SW terminals and tie them into the piezo terminals in the canister. Any issues with running about a 45-50" long cable? I tried it today on the bench and worked great with over 6' cable. Don't want to build a light that's going to have problems in the water or not work properly due to interference.

    If this works out as well as I think it will, I may bring the prolonged piezo switches into TLS stock.... They'll be pricey (around $30) but I can ship them anywhere for just a few $$.

    Thanks
    Hector
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Klem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    My experience is they are bomb-proof.

    No worries with temperature
    No worries with diving pressure

    $30 is actually cheap and if you purchase a few at a time the prolonged versions work out at almost the same price as the standard piezo's.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    They work fine at depth and tolerate wide temperature range.

    However they may act when temperature is changed quicly.
    I have couple of Maglites with Barantec prolonged switch. At one time as was washing it under warm water and it turned on.

    Following that I conducted experiment.
    I took one unmounted switch and attached it to multimeter set to measure resistance.
    As expected undisturbed switch is an infinite resistance (beyond multimeter range).
    Pressed drops to 0 (almost). Ambient temperature is 70ºF.
    Now I put it under hot water from kitchen faucet (measured 114ºF), it activates, multimeter shows about 2-1.5 Ohm.
    After short time it shows again “infinite” resistance. I guess when switch temperature stabilizes at water temp.

    I sent question about this to manufacturer and this is what they answered:
    "Any temp rise more than 9ºF per min will expand the housing and Piezo element to the point where it thinks its’ been pressed."


    That being said I didn't had any trouble in normal usage (like getting in or out of the water while diving). I guess because usually when gettign into water light gets cooled quicly not heated up.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by arek98 View Post
    They work fine at depth and tolerate wide temperature range.

    However they may act when temperature is changed quicly.
    I have couple of Maglites with Barantec prolonged switch. At one time as was washing it under warm water and it turned on.

    Following that I conducted experiment.
    I took one unmounted switch and attached it to multimeter set to measure resistance.
    As expected undisturbed switch is an infinite resistance (beyond multimeter range).
    Pressed drops to 0 (almost). Ambient temperature is 70ºF.
    Now I put it under hot water from kitchen faucet (measured 114ºF), it activates, multimeter shows about 2-1.5 Ohm.
    After short time it shows again “infinite” resistance. I guess when switch temperature stabilizes at water temp.

    I sent question about this to manufacturer and this is what they answered:
    "Any temp rise more than 9ºF per min will expand the housing and Piezo element to the point where it thinks its’ been pressed."


    That being said I didn't had any trouble in normal usage (like getting in or out of the water while diving). I guess because usually when gettign into water light gets cooled quicly not heated up.

    I'll confirm that wide temp swings seem to effect the prolonged versions. Punch a thermal and things take a while to settle down.

    I've not had that experience with the momentary switches.


    That said, funny your drinking this cool-aide, just as I have gotten stuck on magnets.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    double post
    Last edited by 350xfire; 08-09-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Codiak View Post
    That said, funny your drinking this cool-aide, just as I have gotten stuck on magnets.
    haha, Just thinking about them being better for switching the H6Flex... It's nice not to have to move a magnet over and over again, just a press seems nicer.

    I didn't figure there would be too many issues with them as others are using them. The temp thing makes sense as the aluminum will expand and contract...

    I hooked up the H6Flex last night and really liked it. Better than a momentary toggle for sure. Probably more convenient than a magnet... Should make programming much easier too.

    Oh, and the $30 is for a prolonged version!
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Klem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Once you go prolonged for the H6Flex you won't look back...you'll be addicted to Cool Aid

    Yep, it sure beats trying to tap 'clicks' and 'presses' with a magnet.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* lucca brassi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    It's nice not to have to move a magnet over and over again, just a press seems nicer.
    magnet press switch is something quite simple , using small plumbing fittings or simplier using industrial modular buttons (just have to mould magnet in some acryl plastic )

  9. #9

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    How do you seal the Barantec switches? O-rings or thread tape?

  10. #10

    Default

    I used epoxy or sealant in delrin. There is nothing to grip them with screwing them in to get a good oring seal wasn't that reliable.

    The really thin oring wasn't easy to get a sealing surface on either. I had tried thicker ones but felt sealant or epoxy did the job better.
    Regards,
    Damien Siviero
    http://damiensiviero.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by gasdiver View Post
    How do you seal the Barantec switches? O-rings or thread tape?
    I use J-B marine weld to mount them. Pretty much permanent, but works well so far.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Klem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Barantec come with a tiny O ring which I leave on the switch (you may as well because when you screw it up tight it compresses to flush). In the surrounding housing I machine a well with a diameter large enough to get a socket into so you can do up the nut. Once tight, then fill up the well with Sikaflex to waterproof it.

    It's semi-permament and if I ever need to retrieve the switch it will be hard work cutting out the sikaflex with a knife but it is retrievable.

    With Maglite housings they get the permanent treatment. Ifigure it's all too hard to make a waterproofing-well in the confined space so I've just glued them in with JB.




  13. #13

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    How is the piezo switch coming Hector?

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    going great. I hooked it up with 6' of 4x18g cable and it worked well. I was thinking may be EMI would cause issues with that long of a run from the switch to the driver and it does not. I am mounting it on the canister. I did figure out that the maglite barrel can take a bit of a flat to allow the switch to sit flat on it. There is not much meat there but enough to work. I just ordered an M16x1.0 tap so I can thread the switch directly on the mounting surface as I don't want to use the supplied nut.

    Today I got the HbFlex drivers from Taskled which I will be using on a DX 6-LED 1200 lumen module. I am going to try to assemble the whole thing this weekend. I am really liking the piezos... so far!
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    So this is a video light? Are you going to JB Weld the switch to seal it?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    So you have an inventory on hand yet?

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    No, it will be a 6-LED module from DX which will have the crappy original driver removed and a Taskled HbFlex installed. The 6-LED module was tested by a cave diver buddy of mine along side the XML and he was impressed with it. His comments were that this was much brighter and best beam quality. The funny thing is that on land to me it did not look to be that much better than the XML.

    The first light, I drilled a tight hole for the switch to slide in. I used JB Weld to seal as well as the factory nut. I just ordered an M16x1.0 tap to tap the hole so I can thread the switch directly on the caps. I should have it together this week as I have mounted the driver onto the heatsing and I am ready to start assembly today. Of course, you will need to run a 4 conductor cable to mount the switch in the cap of the can.

    I should have inventory next week if all goes well this weekend!
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    So just got done programming the HBFlex. The piezo in the canister lid works like a dream. Much easier to program with it than the spring loaded toggle.
    For some reason, when I used the H6Flex it would not let me program it using my lab power supply. The HBFLex works fine. I'll have to play with the H6 some more and see. It seems like last time I could do it with a battery pack but not with the power supply.

    Just wondering, what are you guys paying for these switches? I am thinking about carrying them but only if I can sell them cheaper than you can get them for. My main advantage is that I won't charge you $10+ to get a switch to you anywhere in the world. I think it should cost no more than about $3-4 to ship one.
    Last edited by 350xfire; 09-01-2012 at 09:55 AM.
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Mid twenties when I can find them...
    Aussies are paying a LOT more

    What price shipped are you thinking?

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    I'm thinking about $30-35
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Klem:
    Was wondering what settings you use for the Flex? I like the UIBQ2 except for the fact that you have to wait for the light levels to scroll down before turning the light off. Any way aorund that?
    Thanks
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Here are some pics of the install:

    Head and switch...

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Another

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Cable- this is 4 conductor 18/4. It is thicker than the 16/2 so cable gland doesn't close down as far

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by 350xfire; 09-02-2012 at 05:56 AM.
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    button gonna be hard to reach if mounting the battery to the tank ;-)

  24. #24

    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by 350xfire View Post
    I'm thinking about $30-35
    If it helps you decide... sell them at 30 and I'll take 2 off your hands asap

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Codiak View Post
    If it helps you decide... sell them at 30 and I'll take 2 off your hands asap
    OK, let me see what pricing and availability is on Tuesday and I'll let you know!
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Codiak View Post
    button gonna be hard to reach if mounting the battery to the tank ;-)
    This will be a waist mount! Once I do my custom head I think it will be on the head.
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Klem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Hector.

    I use UIB2 mode in either Duomode or Trimode. It's personal preference but I like it programmed for fewest presses needed when underwater. Just two modes will do me. Bright and half bright.

    I think you've got yours in 'Threemode' instead of 'Trimode'. In 'Threemode' you have to Press to reduce lights first before you can then Press again to turn off. In Trimode a Press in any mode turns it immediately Off. I agree...you don't want to fart-around when underwater trying to turn the thing off with multiple presses and wasting time.

    I use all the options; thermal cut-out (although this is set on the most forgiving setting), voltage warnings and cut-out (I don't need/use a battery PCB thanks to this), and Superlock (without a recessed or shrouded piezo you probably will too).

    There is a voltage drop of at least 1V on my battery pack when on High with the massive 42W current draw. If your pack is being worked hard you might want to set your cut-out voltages for a little higher than normal otherwise it will cut-out sooner than needed.

    Cost of a Baran prolonged piezo in Australia is about $45 each including postage.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    Thanks. I did turn on superlock. Also, I am running multi mode. No thermal protection. This driver is great! Oh, also UIBQ2, I did not like the fact that in UIB2 when the battery is connected, the light flashes. Also, it is harder for an end user to enter programming mode in UIBQ2...
    Does anyone run teh Cree Q5 at anything higher than 1 amp? I was thinking about going 1.5...
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts

    SMF6s are in and ready to ship...
    http://tlslights.com/ your source for quality affordable dive lights, Mag-lite conversions and weapon lights. Now a Federal Firearms Dealer.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Piezo Switch Experts


    Prolonged version, right? What color, price?

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