Upgrading a Solarforce L2-S4 with a McGizmo McClicky Switch

derLichtschalter

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Dec 11, 2013
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I like my Solarforce L2-S4 tailcap. It is long, looks bulky in a positive way and provides a cigar grip ring to any of my Surefire-P-like flashlights. I just love it. Only the anodizing could be better but that is complaining on high levels.

My problem was, that I don't really trust the Solarforce switches. They are rated with 3 amps by Solarforce themselves but I never read any independent tests on that. Especially the L2-S4 tailcap switch is not rated. It is even not available any more at the Solarforce shop - I had to buy it at a German store for more than double of the original price... But I still love it.

There was no other way than to modify it. So I bought some McGizmo McClicky switches at Lighthound.com :)

First you have to take the L2-S4 apart. You just have to take some narrow pliers, put the tips into the holes of the retention ring, give some force to the outside and simply unscrew it. After that a slight push onto the tailcap should throw out the inner parts, that are from left to right the rubber boot, a large white plastic ring, the switch itself, a small white plastic ring and at last the just unscrewed retention ring.


What has to be removed? Yes: The switch. But if you compare the original switch with the McClicky you clearly see the problem given to the mod: length. But that is a chance too, because you just have to compensate the shortness of the McClicky.


That is simply said but it is not done easily out of the following reasons: The original switch was cramped in between the large white ring an the retention ring combo (metal and small white plastic ring). If you would just screw in the McClicky, you would screw and screw and screw until the McClicky clicks and is screwed into an ever-ON-position.

My solution to that problem was found by adding two pieces. I used a plastic tube with approx. 1.4 cm in diameter and a thick srew with a head diameter of approx. 1.2 mm and a diameter of 5 mm at the threads.

Off the plastic tube I cut a piece of approx. 8 mm. This piece is from now on called 'spacer'.


The screw was shortened to 8 mm overall by cutting the threads (though not completely, of course) and sanding off the head to a thickness of < 1 mm. This piece will be called 'extender' from now on. I wrapped it with some tape, to make it a little thicker. Perhaps a 6 mm screw would have been more useful.


The upper middle part of the McClicky (which is 'between' the main body and the button) was now wrapped with a narrow piece of duct tape until it was approx 1.4 cm in diameter. This will later keep the spacer in place.


The lower part of the McClicky, which contains the contacts of the spring, is now wrapped with a short piece of duct tape too. This will isolate the spring from the retention ring to prevent shorts.


And now you just have to put the pieces together.


Step 1: The large white plastic ring is placed above the rubber boot. The extender is placed into the hole, threads down into it.


Step 2: Onto that one now puts the spacer.


Step 3: Into the spacer you now place the McClicky.


Step 4: And after putting the retention ring onto that tower of pieces, you just have to put this whole thing into the tailcap and screw it tight. You also can put the pieces together inside the tailcap but this way I could take the fotos and show the process :)


Now, this is not a professional solution. A pro would surely have gone another way. But I am no pro. And this works for me. Perhaps it also works for you :)
 

Tiresius

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Sep 19, 2009
Messages
965
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Fresno, CA
Nice rendition of the McClicky on the solarforce tailcaps. I'm thinking I should build one myself when I'm in the mood. However, mines is a total nightmare to make to make >.>

Measure, cut, measure, cut, bore, measure, bore, change gears, CUT FINGERS, change tooling, thread, lube, thread, lube and repeat until your hair have all fallen off.
 

derLichtschalter

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Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
26
It is a lot of work, indeed. And the process is just as you describe it, Tiresius. Finetuning is the problem. The whole thing took me about 2 to 3 hours...
 

derLichtschalter

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Dec 11, 2013
Messages
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I have been wondering too, but as far as I can say after some days (or better: nights) of use, it is very sturdy and does not move or rattle at all. Probably the 'extender' tube is a weak point, but the McClicky body is made of plastic too...
 

Tiresius

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
965
Location
Fresno, CA
Don't let the plastic body deceive you about the overall construction of the switch. I pulled apart this thing and it's more sturdier than it is. The only thing I did not like about the switch is how soft the press it is. That can easily be fixed with a more stiffer spring. Nonetheless, the switch can handle up to 5a load and has not gone out on me.
 

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