control ring lube?

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ToyKeeper
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control ring lube?

Does anyone here know of a good way to lube a control ring such as the stepless variable ring on a JETbeam RRT01? The movement on mine is a bit sticky and I’d like to reduce its static friction but I’m not sure what I can use to do so.

I’m half tempted to squirt some WD-40 into it, or maybe some teflon bike chain lube, but I get the feeling I’ll probably regret it later.

NightCrawl
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WD40 is no constant grease which you want. For control rings, you usually want a very sticky grease so the ring doesnt turn too easy.

On the other hand, the teflon grease I have seen so far would be too sticky. I use OKS 1110 silicone grease (german product) which is also used in fully automated coffee machines.

Ouchyfoot
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Don’t use WD40. It’s not a lube. It’s a water dispersal.

I’m wondering how something like Sentry Solution “Tuf Glide” would be. It can be used on just about anything. Gun owners use it for lubing some parts and can be used to wipe the grips and blueing. I use it on knife pivots.
It’s totally clear, like water. Wipe the area, and set it aside to dry. It bonds with the metal, and reduces friction. After using it on my blade pivots, they are silky smooth, with no residue at all that dust and lint might cling to. Totally invisible and dry.
http://www.sentrysolutions.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=S...
You can find it all over the place.

Chloe
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Do you have any silicone grease? I have restored old pots and sliders with the slightly thicker stuff. You don’t need much of it and it works well for controllers.

http://cpc.farnell.com/electrolube/mpg50t/multi-purpose-grease/dp/ME18004
http://cpc.farnell.com/electrolube/htg50t/high-temperature-grease-50ml/d...

Ouchyfoot
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I would be more worried about lint and debris adhering to anything greasy, and causing it to become thick and sluggish.

Chloe
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Well, they come with grease, but over time dust and mechanical wear (and switch cleaner fluid, and WD-40!) takes its toll (even on sealed parts) and if you can’t replace the part then you have to renovate it.

Another thing you can try is compressed air duster.

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I just added a little nyogel o-ring grease on top of the grease that was already in my RRT-01. After reassembling the light, the magnetic ring turns much smoother without any of the metal-grinding feel the stock light had. Muuuuuuch better.

Don’t try lubing up your RRT-01’s ring without disassembling it though. The light has threadlocker so will take some effort to disassemble without damaging the finish. Disassembling has the advantage in that you know the lube is where you need it and it won’t get on your hands or easily attract dust since it’s not exposed.

To disassemble the RRT-01:
1. Unscrew and remove the stainless steel bezel. Use a strap wrench or rubber tipped pliers to grip the part of the head just below the staineless steel bezel while you turn the bezel. Do not grip lower down. If you grip lower down and the threadlocker on the threads under the magnetic ring give way before the threadlocker on the bezel, then twisting will cause your driver wires to break and could destroy the driver. The driver is a double-decked board, with the wires soldered on the inside of the sandwich. Replacing broken driver wires might not be possible.

2. With the bezel off, the lens and reflector should fall out.

3. De-solder the wires from the driver to the LED star.

4. Unscrew the small retaining ring screw on the bottom of the head (the part that touches the top of the battery). Lift out the battery contact plate and remove the driver from the light.

5. Using 2 strap wrenches or rubber jawed pliers grip the part of the head just above the ring and just below the ring and twist to unscrew. This will require a lot of pressure as you need to break through the threadlocker. If you’re like me and don’t have rubber jawed pliers or strap wrenches you could try wrapping parts of the light with tape and rubber bands while using regular pliers on top of the rubber bands. This works, but one slip and you’ll add a big scratch to your finish.

6. The head should now come apart into 2 pieces, with the ring remaining on one of them.

7. Carefully lift out the magnetic ring. There is a small ball bearing on the side of the ring for the detentes. Because of the pre-existing grease it should stick to the head or ring rather than falling out, but be careful not to lose it.

8. Now it is easy to either wash off all the preexisting grease to the magnetic ring or simply add some extra grease. When you lube it up, I recommend not lubing the very outermost portion of the ring near the exterior of the light as that could cause a mess if it gets on your hands. You want the lube inside the light, not on it. In my light, I added Nyogel onto the innermost portion of the ring that faces the axle, plus both sides of the ring, stopping a mm or 2 from the outer edge of the light. After you lube, screw the top of the head back on to check the ring action before completely reassembling the light.

Chloe
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Which Nyogel did you use? There’s quite a few varieties:
http://www.nyelubricants.com/products/nyogel.shtml

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Great instructions, Firelight2 – thanks.

I wouldn’t exactly say the ring on my RRT-01 is “sticky” when I use it, but it does wobble a little. I wouldn’t feel confident enough to take the head off and add more grease (not sure that would resolve my issue), so I’m happy to live with it.
ToyKeeper
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I also have some PTFE “Super Lube” that I use on threads and O-rings, but it’s far too solid to be able to get it under the control ring. I’m not really planning to take the light apart for this, so I want something thin enough to work its way into tight places. That’s why WD-40 came to mind; it’s great at getting into tight places. However, it tends to get sticky again over time and nobody is quite sure what’s in it or what residue it leaves behind.

Tuf-Glide with a needle tip sounds promising. Even if it doesn’t work on the control ring, it should be good on knives and such.

(edit: heh, several posts were added in the time I was writing this, oops)

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Chloe wrote:
Which Nyogel did you use? There’s quite a few varieties: http://www.nyelubricants.com/products/nyogel.shtml

I used Nyogel 760g, mainly because that was what I had on hand.

I’m not sure I’d recommend using thin lubricants like WD40 without disassembling the light. The ring is actually quite deep and extends a fair ways into the light. WD40 might actually break down the existing lube giving a worse result. Only one way to find out though.

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Firelight2 wrote:
I’m not sure I’d recommend using thin lubricants like WD40 without disassembling the light. The ring is actually quite deep and extends a fair ways into the light. WD40 might actually break down the existing lube giving a worse result. Only one way to find out though.

Yeah, that’s about what I figured. WD-40 has a tendency to interfere with other chemicals, and even on simple things like hinges it gets pretty sticky over time.

I’ll probably try Tuf-Glide, and if that makes things worse I’ll have to take the light apart to fix it properly.

After breaking the lok-tite, do you have any issues with the wrong part of the light turning when you try to move the control ring or change the battery?

Chloe
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Firelight2 wrote:
I’m not sure I’d recommend using thin lubricants like WD40 without disassembling the light. The ring is actually quite deep and extends a fair ways into the light. WD40 might actually break down the existing lube giving a worse result. Only one way to find out though.

I feel like WD40 is like duct tape in this respect. It might help initially but then you are left with the task of cleaning up, and it can cause more trouble than it’s worth (like ruining pots). It doesn’t mix well with silicone lubes.

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My RRT0 spins too easily I don't use it much because of that .

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ToyKeeper: so you ended up buying the RRT01 in the end…

I´m picking up my Niteye Eye10 tonight, new toys, ehhh, tools I mean, are always fun! Smile

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ToyKeeper wrote:

After breaking the lok-tite, do you have any issues with the wrong part of the light turning when you try to move the control ring or change the battery?

Nope.

Even with the locktite broken, twisting to disassemble the head still requires a lot of pressure. There’s no chance the wrong part will turn accidentally during normal operation.

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borstar_micke wrote:
ToyKeeper: so you ended up buying the RRT01 in the end…

I´m picking up my Niteye Eye10 tonight, new toys, ehhh, tools I mean, are always fun! Smile

I have an EYE10, RRT-01, and TCR-01.

EYE10:
What I like: the OP reflector, higher output driver and emitter, extra hidden mode.
What I don’t like: control ring is only half knurled, too many detentes on control ring which prevents the light from having the fine adjustment of output that most infinitely variable lights have, control ring is very noisy do the detentes (sounds like a zipper).

RRT-01:
What I like: fully knurled ring with quiet operation. Nice grippy anodizing.
What I don’t like: smooth reflector gives ugly beam, lower output emitter, lower output driver, slight grinding feeling when turning ring.

TCR-01:
What I like: Copper star, totally silent ring operation, smooth ring, looks beautifiul.
What I don’t like: price, weight, beam is same as RRT-01

What I’ve done:
I swapped parts in and out of these lights to make what I feel is a better EDC:
1. I used the RRT-01 body and ring
2. Disassembled the light and added Nyogel 760g on top of the existing grease. Ring operation is now much smoother and quieter with no more grinding metal feel.
3. Swapped in higher output driver from EYE10
4. Swapped in copper star from TCR-01
5. Swapped in OP reflector from EYE10
6. New emitter – reflowed XML2 neutral 5,000k emitter from illumination supply onto star.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with the result: The new light is lightweight with a great feeling fully knurled ring. Output is a beautiful ring-free neutral tint beam that is significantly brighter than any of the unmodified lights (probably around 750 lumens at turn-on on a fresh IMR 18350). I considered using the TCR-01’s body instead of the RRT-01’s body, but as an EDC the weight difference is noticeable and I felt the aluminum body was more practical.

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Firelight2 wrote:
EYE10:
What I like: the OP reflector, higher output driver and emitter, extra hidden mode.
What I don’t like: control ring is only half knurled, too many detentes on control ring which prevents the light from having the fine adjustment of output that most infinitely variable lights have, control ring is very noisy do the detentes (sounds like a zipper).

RRT-01:
What I like: fully knurled ring with quiet operation. Nice grippy anodizing.
What I don’t like: smooth reflector gives ugly beam, lower output emitter, lower output driver, slight grinding feeling when turning ring.


The RRT01 I got from FastTech has an OP reflector, so the beam is quite smooth and pretty. It also has a shorter clip than older models, which doesn’t interfere with the ring and doesn’t quite touch the front half of the body (so, no scratching the body while unscrewing it for a battery change). The control ring still has that slight grinding feeling though, which makes very small output changes a bit difficult.

I don’t really care about the lower maximum output, since most of my use is 2 lumens or less… often much less. This newer model doesn’t even need to be turned up then back down to get to its lowest modes — it comes on at a level that is so dim I can barely see it when it’s millimeters away from my eyeball in a dark room. As far as I can tell, the RRT01 is the best light on the market for smoothly variable low-low modes.

Your negative points about the EYE10 are exactly why I didn’t buy one. And I’ve heard it may not have as much range at the low end of its output, but haven’t confirmed that.

Firelight2 wrote:
TCR-01:
What I like: Copper star, totally silent ring operation, smooth ring, looks beautifiul.
What I don’t like: price, weight, beam is same as RRT-01

Sounds great, but too expensive. I got my RRT01 for about $54, and the TCR01 seems to be around $180. It sounds like the titanium limited edition also inherited some of the flaws of the older RRT01 models.

Firelight2 wrote:
What I’ve done:

2. Disassembled the light and added Nyogel 760g on top of the existing grease. Ring operation is now much smoother and quieter with no more grinding metal feel.

6. New emitter – reflowed XML2 neutral 5,000k emitter

I’m surprised that such a thick/stiff lube worked. I’ve heard several people complaining that Nyogel 760g made their twisty lights too stiff to use with one hand, which is why I got some softer “Super Lube” for my threads instead. Anyway, I’m hoping that a really really thin lube like Tuf-Glide will be able to fix the metal-grinding feel without the need to disassemble the light; I’m not very good at soldering.

As for the tint… I’m a cool-white sort of girl so I’m happy with the RRT01’s beam. My ZL SC52 is about as warm as I like to go, and I find my H51w obnoxiously yellow.

ToyKeeper
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I received some Tuf-Glide today, 0.5oz, with a needle tip applicator. I put some into the cracks next to the control ring on my RRT01, then twisted it back and forth quite a bit to work it in.

So far, it seems to have worked. There’s still a metal-on-metal feel when twisting, but it moves much more smoothly and easily and it doesn’t catch-and-jump nearly as much is it originally did.

I’m still waiting for the lube to dry/bond/evaporate before I can tell whether it’s truly effective, but so far it’s a significant improvement.

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After a few days, now that the Tuf-Glide has had a chance to dry, I can’t tell whether it actually did anything. The control ring seems almost exactly like it did when it was brand new, so it doesn’t seem to have provided any significant lasting benefit.

I think I’ll probably just leave it alone now, because I don’t really want to deal with de/re-soldering to open up the light for better lubing.

The Tuf-Glide worked great on my knives though, and on a squeaky door.