HDS Systems #23

Mr. LED

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Mar 27, 2011
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Canada
I'll likely never get tired of seeing the insides of some things. HDS tailcaps being one of those things. After playing around with the one i bought from @scalpel_ninja (thank you once more) i figured i'd do the most dreaded thing on this site after promoting TACTICAL 20,000 LUMENS TELESCOPIC SWAT flashlights, i took the tailcap apart. The whole process was leaps and bounds easier than i feared given the multitude of horror stories related to DIY screwups, considering some of the things i work with daily this was a walk in the park. After all my work removing the retaining plastic i was rewarded with this beautiful sight (and what looked like some light rust inside the cap itself) and i wanted to share it with you all.

View attachment 49766


P.S.

Is there anyone in Europe selling rubber boots for HDS? The one here is good, but the flat tailcap on my SDR50 has started to bulge more and since it doesn't go back after equalising i consider throwing on a raised tailcap instead.

D.S.
Amazing! We'd love a video tutorial, if possible.
 

LRJ88

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May 4, 2014
Messages
594
View attachment 49766

Is that a French made switch?

Speaking of which, Neolumen in France used to be a dealer (for the boots). Haven't checked if they are still in business.
i have no idea, the closest i can find are these. The switch is good quality though o no complaints from me.

I just checked Neolumen, a brief look turned up nothing.


Amazing! We'd love a video tutorial, if possible.
I'm not sure i can do that, but more pics might be possible.
@LRJ88 Do you have any photos of the tailcap rust mentioned? I'm interested to see what that looks like. Thanks!
I don't at the moment, but i plan on taking it apart soonish again and slap in some more grease along the retaining strip to keep that part more lubed too. I think it might be a result of the finishing process along with just time, not so much regular red rust. I've seem very similar rust when i've blued other steels before it's been wiped cleaned and oiled. Regardless, i can say with a measure of confidence that it didn't affect the function in the slightest, so people getting sweaty while reading it needn't worry.
 

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Lithium466

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QC
The original Neolumen site looks gone, address is different from what I remember and they only sell Olight apparently. A shame as that was a nice European dealer...but I can understand now.
 

Lithium466

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Aug 1, 2012
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I meant yes it's there, as domain and website still in activity, but business address is different and website itself too. Also catalog is a shadow of what it was.
I know there was already some ownership change and legal entities change somewhere around 2013, can only guess that it happened again. I think at some point there was also a physical boutique too...or maybe it's just a side activity for the owner now.
 

JohnSmith

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Sep 20, 2010
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PA
I'll be taking the tailcap off later today, apart from some sort of tutorial and pictures of the rust, does anyone have any requests? I'd rather not do this more times than necessary.
If you could provide some description of the removal and replacement of the circuit board inside the tail cap, that would be great.
 

LRJ88

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I'd honestly forgotten about the old thread. Allow me to instead fill in the gaps between that version and what we have now, along with some of what's asked for. To begin with the coated wire isn't a thing on this model, it has been replaced by a plastic strip which will likely last longer if you take it in and out of the flashlight several times. The process to remove it is slightly more complicated than the old wire though, this plastic is slick, and grabbing it involved sliding something in under the plastic and then poking it with a needle and pushing it over the thing until it's out far enough to grab it with something else and pull it out.

On the inside it's pretty much the same as in the other look inside, shown here is some of the rusty stuff that's mixed in with the new grease, as mentioned it looks a lot the surface rust you get after bluing steel.

I've not removed the tailcap PCB, but looking at it here it looks a lot like it's glued to the boot retaining ring, so sliding something out by the edge you should be able to just unscrew it.
 

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LRJ88

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May 4, 2014
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@LRJ88 Does your Rotary had a "rubber cap" (my guesd it is rubber) on the hole of the Rotary cap? I ask because older Rotaries did not have this rubber cap.
It does. Looking at it i'd not be too upset if it didn't, i could easily fashion something else to block the hole otherwise. I'd just removed it already here since it's quite easy to do so, and i wanted more to show the other steps to actually disassembling this version, a large part of getting the plastic to this point was just poking through one end with a copper wire until the whole port was showing plastic.
 

LRJ88

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594
Interesting and potentially vital update; while messing about with tailcap i first went with the same grease that HDS sells with their replacement o-rings since i wanted it to be slightly firmer, in the pics above i instead decided on trying Nitecore's lithium grease on the o-rings just to see what'd happen. 20 minutes after putting it together it had gotten noticably stiffer, an hour after it was hard to twist the tailcap overall. Fearing contaminants in the grease i disassembled the tailcap again, taking it apart i noticed the o-rings being slightly more snug in their slots this time around, having that in mind i wiped everything clean and added the first grease again. At first, no issues, then after a few minutes it had started seizing too. A few more attempts with this, also trying Haynes lubri-film, the o-rings had gotten larger time by time. This morning after sitting a few hours the tailcap required considerably more effort at first, even if it gets slightly better with repeated twisting.

My conclusions based on this and when the issue started appearing is that the material in the o-rings started expanding after coming into contact with the Nitecore grease, leading to them swelling up in place and acting more like a brake instead of a glide surface. I'm getting some new o-rings and will try more grease on them to see what happens, if it's not just this material being iffy. I can't recommend using the Nitecore grease for this application as it is.
 
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LEDphile

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Mar 8, 2021
Messages
304
Interesting and potentially vital update; while messing about with tailcap i first went with the same grease that HDS sells with their replacement o-rings since i wanted it to be slightly firmer, in the pics above i instead decided on trying Nitecore's lithium grease on the o-rings just to see what'd happen. 20 minutes after putting it together it had gotten noticably stiffer, an hour after it was hard to twist the tailcap overall. Fearing contaminants in the grease i disassembled the tailcap again, taking it apart i noticed the o-rings being slightly more snug in their slots this time around, having that in mind i wiped everything clean and added the first grease again. At first, no issues, then after a few minutes it had started seizing too. A few more attempts with this, also trying Haynes lubri-film, the o-rings had gotten larger time by time. This morning after sitting a few hours the tailcap required considerably more effort at first, even if it gets slightly better with repeated twisting.

My conclusions based on this and when the issue started appearing is that the material in the o-rings started expanding after coming into contact with the Nitecore grease, leading to them swelling up in place and acting more like a brake instead of a glide surface. I'm getting some new o-rings and will try more grease on them to see what happens, if it's not just this material being iffy. I can't recommend using the Nitecore grease for this application as it is.
The Nitecore grease appears to be a silicone-based grease, which is fine for most rubbers but will cause silicone rubber to swell. Sounds like the HDS O-rings are silicone.
 

LRJ88

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May 4, 2014
Messages
594
The Nitecore grease appears to be a silicone-based grease, which is fine for most rubbers but will cause silicone rubber to swell. Sounds like the HDS O-rings are silicone.
Might well be that then. Nitrile o-rings shouldn't be an issue though, so i'll be getting those. Seems to be 22 OD and 1 or 1.5mm thickness, so that's going in the shopping basket today.
 
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