Having and issue, Vital gear FB1, Malkoff head

troubled1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
23
Just got my Vital Gear FB1 body and my Malkoff E1T head in today's mail. Happily put the pieces together hoping for a small, light thrower. Nada, wouldn't light at all. Played Legos and ascertained it was not the head. Pulled the springs slightly from the head and tailcap, now it's works intermittently. Awesome little setup btw. Now any suggestions? I'm positive the body is a smidge long for a 123 battery, so I'm guessing a spacer would be in order. Any thoughts guys?
 

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,163
Just got my Vital Gear FB1 body and my Malkoff E1T head in today's mail. Happily put the pieces together hoping for a small, light thrower. Nada, wouldn't light at all. Played Legos and ascertained it was not the head. Pulled the springs slightly from the head and tailcap, now it's works intermittently. Awesome little setup btw. Now any suggestions? I'm positive the body is a smidge long for a 123 battery, so I'm guessing a spacer would be in order. Any thoughts guys?
Are you sure it is not the switch?

Evidently the switch often makes poor contact with the brass retaining ring which requires removing the ring and switch and burnishing the circuit trace around the edge of the switch so that it will make good enough contact to work.
Then you need to make sure to get the ring tight to the switch too so they can make contact.

This is what the 2 I just got did too.

There is a link on the website for the body that pictures what I mean.
 

SVT-ROY

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
316
Location
Tigard, Orygun
Are you sure it is not the switch?

Evidently the switch often makes poor contact with the brass retaining ring which requires removing the ring and switch and burnishing the circuit trace around the edge of the switch so that it will make good enough contact to work.
Then you need to make sure to get the ring tight to the switch too so they can make contact.

This is what the 2 I just got did too.

There is a link on the website for the body that pictures what I mean.

I read about a switch replacement but it's to a reverse clicky.....i have 2 and have similar issues. Tried a malkoff MDC head and 4 different E series heads. It's like the switch has to warm up, I know that can't be right but it will hardly illuminate (maybe 1 lumen flickering) and I have to press press press and maybe then it will come on to normal operating lumens. Very frustrating. Going to try and find the fix.
 

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,163
I read about a switch replacement but it's to a reverse clicky.....i have 2 and have similar issues. Tried a malkoff MDC head and 4 different E series heads. It's like the switch has to warm up, I know that can't be right but it will hardly illuminate (maybe 1 lumen flickering) and I have to press press press and maybe then it will come on to normal operating lumens. Very frustrating. Going to try and find the fix.

I am not talking replacement but repair of the forward clicking stock switch the body ships with.
If you take it apart so you can see the little switch circuit board you will see a trace of contact going all the way around the outside edge of the spring side of the board.
It will probably look tarnished and that is the problem.
I had to use high grit sand paper to get it clean enough to make reliable contact.
Sort of silly in a brand new out of the plastic unit but true too.
 

m4a1usr

Enlightened
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
884
Location
Washington State
Might be the switch itself. Lightknot has been great about sending a replacement if they feel they need it. But it can be as easy as taking the tailcap off, screwing the brass ring and just cleaning the heck out of the mini switch. I had a couple brand new ones need it. Only takes a few minutes. Once you have the switch assy out of the tailcap just soak the heck out of it with good ole iso alcohol. Doesn't matter whether you have the 90% stuff or not. Just wet the heck out of the whole switch assy, making sure it gets into the switch and blow it out. Don't have a compressor? Doesn't matter. Just use what god gave you. Pucker and blow. Do it 2 or 3 times making sure all is dry inside before putting it back together. I bet that fixes it. I love the VG bodies. Best deal IMO for your E series lego'n.
 

troubled1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
23
Ok cleaned the switch and no joy. I can hear the battery moving in the body if I shake the light, it seems like the body is just a hair longer than a 123.
 

flashlight chronic

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
474
Location
Kapolei, HI
Both the Malkoff head and Vital Gear tailcap have somewhat weak springs. I use a magnet on the bottom of my cr123 cell. Been working fine ever since.
 

SVT-ROY

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
316
Location
Tigard, Orygun
I'll definitely try cleaning the switch contacts and or the magnet. It sounds like I will be able to see where it's having issues. I'm a complete noob when it comes to taking apart switches but I'm a very handy guy, we'll at home gunsmithing anyway. Any idea where to look for the magnets locally?
 

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,163
Ok cleaned the switch and no joy. I can hear the battery moving in the body if I shake the light, it seems like the body is just a hair longer than a 123.
So did you try cleaning the trace around the switch spring side board?

If you put meter leads between the brass ring and spring and switch the switch you should get continuity,if not I bet it is the contact surface.
 
Last edited:

Double Barrel

Enlightened
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
458
I'm having what seems to be the same issue with a couple new FB1 bodies. I can get some light at times...its just crazy erratic in behavior. Flickering and about 1/4 power if that. Flutters real bad when pressing switch.
I did clean it up some without taking it apart...hoping that would solve it.
I have an older 3 cell version that I haven't had any issues with. Switched tails with the FB1's and it works just fine. So, my trouble is definitely in the switch.
I'll have to disassemble when I get a chance. I contacted lightknot about it and that was his suggestion, also.
Lightknot is a good CPFer. Contact him if you can't figure it out.
Good luck
 

troubled1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
23
So did you try cleaning the trace around the switch spring side board?

If you put meter leads between the brass ring and spring and switch the switch you should get continuity,if not I bet it is the contact surface.
Sadly I'm not even remotely electronically inclined so no.
 

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,163
Sadly I'm not even remotely electronically inclined so no.

Well no time like the present to start learning then!

If there is a Harbor Fright store where you are you can get a $5 meter and set it to ohms and notice that when you touch the leads together the meter should read 0 roughly.

So if you just stick the brass ring on the tail cap to one lead and the spring on the other you will either see the same reading or not.
Then press the switch and try again.
If no difference the switch assembly has an issue.
If there is a difference then you have a different problem.

Easy to start!
 

jorn

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
2,499
Location
Norway
I use this setup M30w+vme+fb1. Also have a fb3 body for 2xaa use. Had to stretch the spring in the switch a lot for it to work perfectly in both the fb1 and fb3 setup. Have been working perfecly ever since. Cant remember how many years, but the fb1 and fb3 was bought for the m30w. and the m30 is a old thing :)
 
Last edited:

SVT-ROY

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
316
Location
Tigard, Orygun
Well no time like the present to start learning then!

If there is a Harbor Fright store where you are you can get a $5 meter and set it to ohms and notice that when you touch the leads together the meter should read 0 roughly.

So if you just stick the brass ring on the tail cap to one lead and the spring on the other you will either see the same reading or not.
Then press the switch and try again.
If no difference the switch assembly has an issue.
If there is a difference then you have a different problem.

Easy to start!

Right on I'll try that test. So test off and on? I already have a MM, and grabbed a set of snap ring pliers earlier today. I just cleaned one of the switches with a super fine stone very lightly. We're talking about the outer most ring that looks corroded ehh? The part that touches the brass deal. Anyway that one seems to work good so far. See picture of the outer ring untouched, that is all I can see that may help... So that's what I cleaned on switch #1. About to clean and test #2

And for the second picture I decided to use soshine lifepo rechargeables because well I love them and they are taller than most all primary cells. No magnet really needed. Although after I cleaned the first switch is seems good to go with either battery.

 
Last edited:

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,163
Cool it looks like you got it and it fixed the problem!
And now you can test for circuit continuity too!

If that ring of circuit trace won't make good contact with the removable brass ring then the light will not work as you now see and the thing preventing it from working is that the contact ring is contaminated with something that prevented it from making contact.

I also just got 2 FB3 and neither worked unless I used the tail section from ones that I have had for years. The seller told me right away that this is the problem but it required a lot more "Cleaning" than he suggested to get them working for sure.

I wish these brand new bodies were sent to us working but as long as you try the contact cleaning and they work at least it saves shipping and waiting to get ones that go after all.
Plus now you have new Skills!

Right on I'll try that test. So test off and on? I already have a MM, and grabbed a set of snap ring pliers earlier today. I just cleaned one of the switches with a super fine stone very lightly. We're talking about the outer most ring that looks corroded ehh? The part that touches the brass deal. Anyway that one seems to work good so far. See picture of the outer ring untouched, that is all I can see that may help... So that's what I cleaned on switch #1. About to clean and test #2

And for the second picture I decided to use soshine lifepo rechargeables because well I love them and they are taller than most all primary cells. No magnet really needed. Although after I cleaned the first switch is seems good to go with either battery.

 

lightfooted

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
1,017
Funny, I was just thinking the same about finding magnets.

A bit late to the discussion but figured I'd chime in with an answer. Home Depot has the rare earth magnets in a wide selection of sizes as does Michael's (the craft store).
 
Top