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Thread: Disassembling a flashlight

  1. #1

    Default Disassembling a flashlight

    Hello everyone,

    I ordered a MTE P7 flashlight (the 8 modes one) and I'll probably receive it in a couple of weeks. I ordered it knowing that I would have to take it apart before using it, to make sure everything is soldered ok, there's enough heat dissipation, etc.

    I searched a lot about such info, but couldn't find it. Is there a tutorial for newbies like me (with photos), that shows which parts in the flashlight's head should be examined, and how to fix any possible defects it could have? For example: which screws to tighten, where to solder, where to apply thermal paste...

    I've already found the thread about the clicky switch. I only need info about the head.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic brianch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    The head does not twist off, it seems to be press fit on. If you really would like to take the head off use rubber gloves and use some strength. I have a few MTE lights and I don't bother trying to take the head off (unless the light isn't working or has issues) Just clean the tailcap and all the contacts on it. That is usually enough. I find with my MTE lights that the soldering contact between the switch board and tailcap retaining ring thing is poor. All the MTE lights I've had suffered flickering issues. Sanding down or resoldering that part fixed it for me. Good luck with the light and congrats on your new purchase.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Thanks Brianch. I knew the head could be glued, but I've read that by unscrewing the front bezel some work could be done.

    I'm afraid to break the flashlight, being completely new to this. So I'm open for suggestions!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic brianch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    I would say just wait for it to arrive and hope for the best. At the least clean all the threads and contacts related to the tailcap and hope that will get the light working good. Don't expect 900 lumens. Don't expect that little P7 to perform at its best. But do expect a bright light that is good enough for most of our needs for general lighting.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    I'm expecting the worst, that's why I created this thread. :-)

    And I really want to know more about disassembling the head. Maybe some experienced members could share some photos?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default

    its not the led, its the driver!
    If that one pushes the led hard, it will give good light, if it is as usual in cheap lights, not enough current goes to the led, no good output.
    very simple!

    as to disassembling the head:
    screw off body,
    screw off bezel,
    take out reflector,
    look inside and most certainly the alum disc where the led are mounted is something like a giant "screw" screwed into threads inside the lights head.
    Screw it out, check backside.
    There the driver should be exposed.
    When You see solder points, cables, ..., that look "bad", fix that.
    Check eventual springs to make good contact to housing or battery, or ...
    Clean/remove imperfections (threads, machining debrits, burrs),
    put some thermal paste on ouside of mounting plate and threads, screw in with force
    put all parts in in reverse order
    have fun with light

    ... if driver fails eventually,
    ... if light emitted from led is "bad" (most likely on the blue side),
    change that cheapo parts with better ones in the future
    when in doubt: buy both

  7. #7
    Flashaholic brianch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    I believe the head on this MTE light is press fit on. It takes quite a bit of work to get off. It doesn't exactly twist off. The first time I took apart a MTE P7 light I had to use rubber gloves to get a grip and twist the head until it snapped off. It came off alright.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Thank you yellow!!! Just what I needed, short and to the point. :-)

    Also yellow, I've been lurking for a while here and want to thank you for this:



    Thanks for sharing!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by brianch View Post
    I believe the head on this MTE light is press fit on. It takes quite a bit of work to get off. It doesn't exactly twist off. The first time I took apart a MTE P7 light I had to use rubber gloves to get a grip and twist the head until it snapped off. It came off alright.
    Which MTE P7 model are we talking about? The 5 mode MTE P7 I have from DX (sku.12060) definitely doesn't have anything press fit. The bezel ring although a very snug fit, unscrews and similarly the pill with the LED and driver unscrews. You extract it from the front after removing the bezel and pulling the (plastic for my version) reflector. This particular model has changed a bit since I first got it so who knows if this is still the case...

    Karl

  10. #10

    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Which MTE P7 model are we talking about? The 5 mode MTE P7 I have from DX (sku.12060) definitely doesn't have anything press fit. The bezel ring although a very snug fit, unscrews and similarly the pill with the LED and driver unscrews. You extract it from the front after removing the bezel and pulling the (plastic for my version) reflector. This particular model has changed a bit since I first got it so who knows if this is still the case...

    Karl
    Karl, from what I read (and that's a lot!) about these flashlights, some heads are glued, some are not, and some are "somewhat" glued. I guess the latter happens when the person working there doesn't apply enough glue. There were no reports about the bezel being glued, however.

    I hope my head won't be glued! And if it is, I hope I'll be able to unscrew the bezel and extract everything from there without screwing the flashlight up.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
    Karl, from what I read (and that's a lot!) about these flashlights, some heads are glued, some are not, and some are "somewhat" glued. I guess the latter happens when the person working there doesn't apply enough glue. There were no reports about the bezel being glued, however.

    I hope my head won't be glued! And if it is, I hope I'll be able to unscrew the bezel and extract everything from there without screwing the flashlight up.
    Of the 20+ lights I own, only one actually had/has a glued head, so in my experience its not that common. Its likely some of these reported "glued" heads probably were just tight really tight and required more elbow grease than they could muster or felt comfortable applying.

    Karl

  12. #12

    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Of the 20+ lights I own, only one actually had/has a glued head, so in my experience its not that common. Its likely some of these reported "glued" heads probably were just tight really tight and required more elbow grease than they could muster or felt comfortable applying.

    Karl
    That's very good news then.
    Btw, the model I ordered is sku.13060.

  13. #13
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    I have the MTE SSC P7 C-Bin 2-Mode LED Flashlight (1*18650) sku 12623


    It is the same thing as your 8 mode (same pics for both on DX)
    I just didn't need all the modes, or the reported flickering with that model.

    The description said it came with a "Textured Fortified Plastic Reflector"
    Mine came with a metal OP reflector, as well as a glass lens.

    Bezel came off with hand pressure - no tools needed. Glass lens, o-ring holds the reflector.





    Shot of led down head - the light or flash distorted the view of the led... it is square and centered, opposed to what it looks like in the pic.






    I tried taking the head off the body - body in a vise and an adjustable wrench on the head.

    It would not go. I did not want to put serious torque on it, as I noticed I started to dent the metal body. I didn't want to go any harder.







    End end cap comes off very smoothly, no burrs on the threads, double o-ring.






    The clicky on the end does protrude a bit from the tailcap, thus it wobbles when you try to tailstand.


    Last edited by Kubbie; 12-06-2009 at 11:01 AM.

  14. #14
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Kubbie View Post
    I have the MTE SSC P7 C-Bin 2-Mode LED Flashlight (1*18650) sku 12623
    I have the same light. I work as a machining supervisor and I am quite pleased with the build quality of the MTE. At least the chinese shop had the machines and tools in good shape when turning and milling my light. Actually I cannot spot a single flaw in the machining. Finished with slow enough feed rate and glass beaded before anodizing. Just perfect. Arrived lubed etc.
    Last edited by B12; 12-06-2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: typo

  15. #15

    Default Re: Disassembling a flashlight

    Kubbie, thanks for the photos! I thought it would be hard to access the driver from the front of the light. But now I see it'll be easier than I thought.

    B12, your post is reassuring!

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