Solarforce Tailcaps - A quick Review .

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old4570
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Solarforce Tailcaps - A quick Review .

 

 

Ok , I have a decent collection of the after-market Solarforce tailcaps ..

Lets start with the standard L2 tailcap .

 

L2 Tailcap / Reverse clicky , very nice , I like the revers clicky , and for everyday use , its a wonderful thing . I find the size and design very easy to use and live with , ok it cant tailstand , but thats no deal breaker  for me . 

S3 Tailcap / Finish looks to be a very close match to the regular L2 , it's a forward clicky , and feels just a little soft compared to the regular L2 switch , I like the S3 very much .

S4 Tailcap / Finish looks to be HA3 , and is a much more flat black [ not glossy ] , once again a forward clicky , and very much like the S3 a little soft feeling [ mushy if you will ] , the S4 has a built in cigar ring , which I personally dont care for very much , it almost gets in the way of your fingers and is not very comfortable , but if your looking for grip and light retention , then it might be the bees knees .

S5 Tailcap / HA3 , Yes its big , also has a very big switch inside , Forward clicky , and a little soft feeling , and due to its design , tailstands very well . Im very neutral towards this switch , but it has its uses ...

S6 Tailcap / HA3 , a very much smaller version of the S5 , I like this a lot more , but the design , makes thumb activation just a little iffy due to the 4 raised posts that allow tailstanding , its very easy to put a lot of pressure on a post rather than activate the clicky , which can be uncomfortable , and troublesome , should one actually ever be in a Tactical situation .

S7 Tailcap / HA3 , Twisty with momentary on ...  Much a Surefire copy , can handle much more current , but at the same time due to the design also offers increased resistance .

For some strange reason , when you twist on , wants to start in the next mode , must have just a slight momentary contact somewhere as you twist on , meaning double contact , so there fore switching modes as you turn on . In fact I dare call it a poor copy of the Surefire original which as a O ring for the internal side of the body tube , which tightens it up , and looks to stop any unwanted contact . Again , could be annoying in a Emergence or Tactical situation . 

 

Some output figures with the tailcaps 

1/ Std L2 Tailcap = 750L

2/ S3 = 760L

3/ S4 = 722L

4/ S5 = 775L

5/ S6 = 765L

6/ S7 = 685L

Its only a simple test , but I thought it might make a difference .. Each tailcap was tried on the same body to see how it affected performance [ same battery ] ..

The variation is some what small , until we come to the S7 , due to its design , it does have some resistance to current , and does drop performance quite a bit . It would only be fair of me to say that as current drops the variation in performance also drops , in other words , at lower current , there is very little difference in which tailcap you use . 

Well , I hope this helps ...  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

xP.1337
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i ordered an L2P with the S5

output wise, seems i got the tailcap with the least resistance. woot!

Budgeteer
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Great review thanks! I would like to ask you to gut the S7 so i can get an idea how to make my own.

Also can you do a noise assessment on those with a scale form 1-10 with 10 being the loudest?

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

old4570
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Hmmm , gut the S7 , id like to pull it apart , but it looks like there is no way of doing so without damaging it ..

Looks like some sort of press fit , maybe held in place with a split washer of sorts . 

Noise , the only noise comes from the S7 when using momentary , unless you press really hard , it makes a buzzing sound , the lighter the press , the louder the sound ..

Stil the light would need to be next to your ear to hear it ..

The other tailcaps are very quiet [ clicking sound ] maybe 1/4 or 1/5th of the regular L2 reverse clicky 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Don
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Amazing how tastes vary. I'm not all that fond of forward clickies in the first place and I hated the S3 - it is far more appreciated in its new home.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

brjones
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Wow... thank you for the awesome and pertinent (to me) review. Darn--you'd think the twisty/momentary design would have LESS resistance, owing to its simplicity and contact area. But I've seen similar reports in terms of behavior/resistance with the Surefire OEM twisty/momentary switches. An expert on cpf did some pretty in-depth test on it too; I'd try to find/include the link if I did a full review. And Surefire uses a rivet to keep things in, so you typically have to damage parts of the tailcap to get it apart. Looks like this S7 twisty might be similar.

 

I don't have the S7 yet, but my Surefire OEM tailcaps came (z41 [metal] and the G2 [platic/nitrolon] tailcap). Hope to do a full review at some time, but... no good. Of my 501b, 504b, and L2, the G2 switch didn't really work on any of them. I got one function (twisty or momentary) to work in one flashlight, but I forget; it wasn't worth it. The G2 cap threads onto the 504b and L2, but not the 501b. As far as the (metal) Z41 tailcap, it does intermittently work in my L2, but not at all in my 504B (and again, wouldn't thread onto the 501b). When the Z41 actually works in the L2, I love it. To my shock, I could actually change modes one-handed--but untwisting and twisting the light with my thumb and index finger, while holding the tailcap in my pinky and ring finger. It seems the SF tailcaps come pre-lubed with their superspecial Nye Lubricants Nyogel 760-something, but whatever's on there, it's just silky smooth and I think I may actually pick some of that lube up, expensive as it is. The problem is, the contact either barely makes contact, or does not make contact at all. Seems that the metal disc inside is designed for a tube which is 2mm narrower for cr123 batteries, vs Solarforce's tube for 18650's. It usually works as soon as I screw it on. But when I come back to it, it usually doesn't work (either momentary or twisty). I know the spring is contacting, as I have to push on the tailcap just to thread it on. I found that if I untwist a bit, and retwist 'torquing' it at an angle, it will more reliably come back on... but that is not workable long-term, and requires 2 hands too. I wonder if I could find or mod a washer to enlarge the contact area for the larger 18650 tube?

 

Would be interesting to see the Lumens output on these switches versus the McGizmo McClicky. Old4570, do you have one, if I ask pretty please could you perhaps test it and report back? Would be good to know if McClicky makes a functional difference at least in terms of resistance, and how it affects lumens at high current.

 

There is also the so-called Zero Resistance brass piece from Oveready designed to address the resistance issues on these twisties. I never thought twisties would have their own set of problems but they do. Unknown at this point if the Oveready Zero Res thing would work or fit in an S7 but if so, buying both pieces can still be cheaper than buying one Surefire Z41 tailcap which doesn't even work properly on Solarforce flashlights anyway. I'm dreading more the installation than the purchase price. Instructions are woefully in adequate. I found Oveready's PDF for installing the McClicky on a Z41, which gives the jist of how to take apart the tailcap. He shows 2 ways, and neither looks easy. Both involve suggestions of boiling or baking the tailcap. Why isn't there anything in the flashlight world which does what you want, and doesn't require a "mod"?

 

Old4570, what drop-in was used for this test? I'm assuming the Manafont 3-mode Ultrafire XM-L?

 

Most of those Solarforce switches are rather huge, which is a turn-off. I think they claim it is for increased robustnest, but somehow I think you can make a reliable switch in a smaller package. Aside from personal preferences, I wonder aloud if there are any advantages to the forward versions of these over the McClicky assembly (aside from the fact they come fully assembled).

- Involuntary circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose genital cutting of all children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

old4570
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Drop in was XM-L , but I believe it was the KD one ...

I wanted to try out the tailcaps with higher current so as to show up any variables .

Lower current means much smaller variation in output . [ something to keep in mind ] 

 

Sorry , this has been a very expensive month so far , over a grand worth of bills and expenses ..  So I have to put my wallet into hibernation mode .  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

srfreddy
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old4570, does the L2M come with the L2 tailcap? Do you have the L2P tailcap? 

old4570
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The L2m has the standard L2 tailcap ...

yes I have the L2P and L2X tailcaps [ as I have both hosts ] 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

srfreddy
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How do they compare to the rest of the tailcaps? 

fishinfool
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old4570 wrote:

 

S5 Tailcap / HA3 , Yes its big , also has a very big switch inside , Forward clicky , and a little soft feeling , and due to its design , tailstands very well . Im very neutral towards this switch , but it has its uses ...  

One other thing about the S5 Tailcap is that it is more of a flat black color and doesn't match up with my shiny black solarforce body.  That kind of bugged me a bit but I got over it. Sealed

 Also, like old mentioned above, the soft switch feels weird to me since I'm used to clickies but it does actually work just fine. 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

old4570
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I like both the L2P and L2X tail switches very much , I would not mind if Solarforce switched the stock L2 clicky to a L2P style with the L2P internals , Id love that . 

My problem is I have more L2's than i really need , I might use 2 or 3 at any time , the other 12 or so do very little work . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

fishinfool
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old4570 wrote:

I like both the L2P and L2X tail switches very much , I would not mind if Solarforce switched the stock L2 clicky to a L2P style with the L2P internals , Id love that . 

My problem is I have more L2's than i really need , I might use 2 or 3 at any time , the other 12 or so do very little work . 

If you need any help at all old, I'll gladly take care of those neglected L2's for you.  Seriously, I'm here for you buddy.:bigsmile:

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

old4570
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They certainly are some what neglected .. Even my Fav L2M [ seriously good XR-E R2 ] is gathering dust now that the XM-L is available . 

I feel like a bad parent , neglecting my loved ones ...    Shhhhhhhh ..

Or flashlight care agency might take them away .....   

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

fishinfool
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old4570 wrote:

They certainly are some what neglected .. Even my Fav L2M [ seriously good XR-E R2 ] is gathering dust now that the XM-L is available . 

I feel like a bad parent , neglecting my loved ones ...    Shhhhhhhh ..

Or flashlight care agency might take them away .....   

LOL 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

brjones
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Sorry 45-70. Didn't mean to suggest I wanted you to buy something new. I just thought a master like you would have something like the oh-so-talked-about Mcklicker lying around. Ass-uming.

 

So, does the L2P come with any of the particular switches you enumerated? Does it have a model name? You sound pretty fond of it (I think it's a reverse though). I've got an L2P soon on the way...

 

Now that I've retrospectively made some mistakes and good decisions, I wish I wouldn't have wasted my time, and just should've gone the Solarforce route. So I don't blame u for your collection. Succumbed to the idea of, "well, if I get this drop-in, for a few dollars more I can have a whole flashlight with a spare body to mess around with...". That's how the 501B baby was born. And now we hardly ever talk. What are you gonna do, with an L2 in your pocket. And I wasn't even drunk.

- Involuntary circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose genital cutting of all children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

old4570
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L2P is the same as the L2X , only different .. in appearance ..  And yes I like both , only wish they had been available 3 years ago when I got onto Solarforce . 

It just feels like a quality unit , its a step up from the L2 for sure .  My L2P will be XM-L shortly [ currently Dual XP-G R5 ]

 McKlicky , naa , closest ive come to custom tailcaps is dropping a Romisen forward clicky into my L2micro ..

 http://www.solarforce-sales.com/

You need to visit here every now and again , when the itch needs scratching .. 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

pounder
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xP.1337 wrote:

i ordered an L2P with the S5

output wise, seems i got the tailcap with the least resistance. woot!

 

just so you know the s5 does not work on my L2p..the body prevents the s5 from being completely screwed on to make contact to the internal ring..this s5 was taken off my masterpiece so maybe it's a bit different from the other s5's?? i'm guessing you could back the internal ring of the tailcap down to make contact, but no clue as I have not tried that..I use an s3 on my L2p and I like it a lot but it leaves some space between the tailcap and body..you think SF would make standardized lengths so all their stuff would fit perfectly, but alas they do not..good luck in making it work..hopefully the s5's are different from the masterpiece s5..

old4570
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Just checked , My L2P + S5 works just fine ...  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

pounder
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old4570 wrote:

Just checked , My L2P + S5 works just fine ...  

 

good to know..i'm guessing the masterpiece s5 is a little different..all my other caps work on my masterpiece though..weird..

Hrvoje
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I've recently bought Solarforce RSP switch. Great forward clicky, almost silent, a little bit bulky but versatile.

http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FA&s=18&id=90

 

xP.1337
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pounder wrote:

xP.1337 wrote:

i ordered an L2P with the S5

output wise, seems i got the tailcap with the least resistance. woot!

 

just so you know the s5 does not work on my L2p..the body prevents the s5 from being completely screwed on to make contact to the internal ring..this s5 was taken off my masterpiece so maybe it's a bit different from the other s5's?? i'm guessing you could back the internal ring of the tailcap down to make contact, but no clue as I have not tried that..I use an s3 on my L2p and I like it a lot but it leaves some space between the tailcap and body..you think SF would make standardized lengths so all their stuff would fit perfectly, but alas they do not..good luck in making it work..hopefully the s5's are different from the masterpiece s5..

 

interesting, i ordered a body that CAME with the S5. S5 fits perfect. contacts perfect too.

maybe you guys got bad S5's?

great switch, tho anodizing already started comming off one of the peaks at the switch area.

overall the L2P is a nice flashlight, tho i found it funny that mine came with a BLANK certificate of authenticity.  strange.....

 

also i saw someone mentioned finish differences, finish on WHOLE flashlight is satin black, including on S5 switch.  so i dont have that issue either.

dorpmuller
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I use the S4 on every XPG triple host I put together. The cigar grip is a must for one handed operation and fat fingers like the big boot. Besides, it looks good!

No electrical issues at all either.

Rich

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

frills
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The contact issues on the S7 strike me as bizarre, knowing what Z41s are like.

Is there a coating on the inside of the L2 battery tube used for testing? I've seen Z41s used on 18650 L2 tubes without issue, but they required sanding the inside rim of the tube to expose bare aluminum for the chamfered part of the cap's contact plate to rest against since the base of the plate will "miss" the rim and go into the tube.

pounder
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looking at the picture up top showing the lights it's pretty clear that my s5 is not the same..i'm assuming they made the masterpiece s5 a little longer to take up some of the gap on the masterpiece body..my s5 will hit the l2p's body and "bottom out" before making contact..if you look at the picture up top there still is space between the s5 cap and the light..mine takes up all the gap..

Combative
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Regards, Combative

Fenix TK12 R5 | ArmyTek Predator G109.1 | NiteCore Extreme R2 | Solarforce L2M R5 / L2P NB XM-L@3,1

srfreddy
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Thats funky looking... and looks like a 5mm switch boot lol. 

xP.1337
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ooo i want one!

old4570
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http://www.solarforce.hk/PRD/data/5.710/img5.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solarforce M8 Tailcap , I didnt think there was a S8 tailcap .. So might fit a L2 but would be HuGe ! Maybe bigger than the S5 ?

Hmmmmmm, might be the cats meow with a single mode driver if it has built in ramping and is a genuine M8 Tailcap .... and fits the L2's 

Apparently there is a tactical Switch , On Off , that comes with the M8 , called Tactical Switch ... [ So the M8 should have 2 tail switches / clickies ] 

Looks like SFS is selling the M8 Tactical switch , and calling it a S8 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

srfreddy
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Well, if its got integrated modes, yeah. its gonna be huge! 

fortyfiveautomatic
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Does anyone sell the standard L2P tailcap by itself? 

Does it tailstand?

Can the Romisen RC-G2 forward click mod be done on it?

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