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Thread: Arc 4+ reset problem

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Arc 4+ reset problem

    I have been having a problem with my Arc 4+. Quite often, when I go to turn on the light, it instead goes into "reset/now in service/new battery" mode, a lengthy stretch of time (when you're in the dark, waiting) while it starts at the level 16 and sequentially winds up to level 1. It's a PIA. Am I doing something wrong? The battery and head sections are properly screwed together. I was thinking I wasn't pressing the button hard enough, but I haven't had good results. Mine was one of the first units, 0080. Is there a software or mechanical issue I am not aware of? Anyone else experience this? I've had a few mildly embarrasing moments at my expense when friends say, "we will get light in a moment while this fancy light reboots", which is kind of the truth.
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon23.gif[/img]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arc 4+ reset problem

    If you press the button and instead of turning on the light acts like you just changed the battery then the switch mechanism is loose. The Arc4 is designed to have the battery always connected electrically. The switch is a seperate set of contacts. Therefore, the button should not be connecting/disconnecting the battery like in a conventional flashlight.

    To reduce slack in the mechanism, check these steps:

    1. Are both the cap and battery pack snugly screwed down? The battery pack should be normal tightness and the cap should be a little tighter since you normally don't use it.

    2. Check the switch mechanism in the tail. The spring should be sitting level in the basket. The basket is the metal ring with fingers that curve around the spring and hold it in place. Sometimes the spring is loose and it sitting at an angle in the basket. A small angle is ok since the slanted coils of the spring will always cause it to sit not completely level. You are looking for an obvious lack of level. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Another things to check while you are there is the plunger. It should be aligned with the other parts with the pointy in fitting up inside the cone of the spring. The plunger should be able to poke past the end of the spring without catching on one of the loops.

    3. Stretch the spring out by grabbing it with two pliers and pulling apart. Be carefull to not add any other bends to the metal except extending the length evenly in the spring. This is a pretty good method for taking up slack.

    4. Make sure the gold disk in the tail of the light (accessable by removing the cap) is inserted so that the bumps on it's service are facing out towards the battery. If it is the other way, you will some slack in the mechanism.

    Most Arc4's switch mechanisms are more on the tight side then the loose side. This is by design because we anticipated some relaxation of the materials. We found that the boot is stretching more than we anticipated though. As the boot breaks in, extra slack will appear in the switch mechanism. Very annoying actually from a design perspective. I wish I could replace the entire thing with a line of software but until we have a direct brain to device link, you have to have a mechanical component somewhere. The Rev2 Arc4 (currently in production) will have more travel in the switch to allow for a wider range of tolerance.

    If you have a Rev1 and it is just not being nice with the whole slack issue, we might be able to replace some of the parts with rev2 pieces to get things working right again.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc 4+ reset problem

    Thank you, Peter, for your very prompt response. Everything looks ok, so I tried stretching the spring a little bit. I'll let you know if it doesn't do the trick. Really love the light! Waiting on the 2 cell body and tailguard.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Arc 4+ reset problem

    You know what, something just occured to me. I have been playing with a couple of seconds and returns (There is a shortage of Arc4s right now and I gave up my Premium EDC for military T/E, so all I have to work with right now are seconds). I was comparing the "click feeling" on several setups. I noticed that one head always had a mushy feeling regardless of which battery pack/tail piece I swapped in on it. Of course, I reasoned that there was something about the head that made it different. I tried clicking the front positive contact (the switch is underneath) and it felt the same to me as the other heads. That was last night. Today, in between doing the laundry and some yard work, I thought it about some more and I have a theory. The thickness of the solder ring inside the head (around the positive contact) that is used to mate with the lip of the battery compartment may be varying in height. I have not tested this yet though (I have more chores to do first). That ring is applied by using a solder mask on a machine so it should be the same height in all cases. Hmm. Another thought... The height of that ring may be more of a factor of how far the electronics module is threaded into the head. And since that height depends on a lot of small tolerances adding up, that very well could be it. So even though the ring is tight on tolerance, we can vary it's height to tune the switch travel. I will have to test this later today.

    Peter

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Arc 4+ reset problem

    My Arc second does something similar. I don't mind since its a second. My Arc-4+ Premiums (firsts) act fine though.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arc 4+ reset problem

    Note: stretching the spring a bit did the trick. Thanks, Peter.

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