Here's how to fix the Vital Gear FB1/2/3 switch

vacuum3d

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
553
Location
Bay Area, CA
(I hope I'm not duplicating what others have already posted. I did a number of searches on this subject with no result.)

If you have a first generation Vital Gear FB1/2/3, I'm sure you're just sick of that switch problem. I bought all three when they first came out, and they've been sitting in my drawer ever since because the damn switch simply does not work.

I remember seeing a thread that talked about replacing the leave spring with a coil spring. I finally got around to fixing those switches because I needed a host for my Aleph Mc-19 head that's gonna show up any day now. I tried to replace the leave spring with a coil spring, after searching everywhere, I finally found a suitable spring from breaking my old CD-Rom drive. Anyway, the result was not satisfactory. All the coil spring did was allowed for a better battery size tolerance between CR123 and R123. It did nothing for the finicky switch contact problem.

After studying the situation some more, I finally figured out what the real problem was. With the head in place and the battery in the tube, screwing in the tail would force the spring along with the clicky that the spring is soldered to, away from the lock nut, causing lost of connectivity. The pcb that the spring is soldered to is sandwiched between the lock nut and the rubber boot. Connectivity must be maintained between the lock nut and the pcb at all time in order to for the switch to operate correctly. Having just a rubber boot as the backing, it will give when the force of stiff battery pushing down on the stiff spring.

Fortunately, the solution is quite simple and the switch can be fixed in 5 minutes. All you have to do is make sure that the connectivity between the pcb and the lock nut is maintained at all time even when the battery is pushed against the spring. The simplest way that I came up with is to solder a thin piece of copper (or some other conductive metal) on the side of the pcb and solder it to the ground on the pcb. It has to be pretty thin because the pcb and the lock nut fits together with not much free play at all. That's all there is to it. Now I have three more usable hosts with clickies at my disposal.


Here's the lock nut removed...
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Here's the switch disassembled...
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Here are the two pix of the soldering...
01010153.JPG

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Here's the switch put back in the lock nut after soldering...
01010156.JPG



And finally reassembled...
01010157.JPG



Hope this helps other unsatisfied FB1/2/3 users as well. I'm actually very happy with the FBs now.


ernest
 
Last edited:

mountaineer

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
144
Thank you , Thank you !!! After destroying one FB1 switch myself , I gave up on my other one . Until now !

Thanks Again .
 

MSaxatilus

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
2,641
Location
New Jersey
WOW! That's a great fix. I might have to track down a few FB1s now. I had a few and that switch thing just drove me nutz! Thank you for coming up with a great and easy solution.
 

matrixshaman

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
3,408
Location
Outside the Matrix
Cool - thanks for solution. I don't seem to see any pictures in your post though? Although it's probably doable without but pics are always good. Or am I the only one who can't see them? :confused:
 

vacuum3d

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Feb 26, 2004
Messages
553
Location
Bay Area, CA
Sorry. I'm in the middle of remodelling the house, so the computer is down. Will restart the server tomorrow night.

ernest
 
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