My latest solution for locating a side switch in the dark

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beam0
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My latest solution for locating a side switch in the dark

There have been many methods for this, gluing on rings, rubber pads, or line up a pocket clip, I recently came up with this idea (although probably not the first) and it works great!

It’s sold under many different names: Anti-skid tape, Safety tape, Grip tape, Skateboard tape (you get the idea)

I’m using the very aggressive “mineral based” stuff. (sandpaper grit texture) A small pad of this goes a long way for locating a side switch in the dark.

. . . .

.
Another option (photo below) is to place a small pad or strip below/near/around the switch.

For the TC20 I originally I did this so it wouldn’t cover the indicator light, but I made the pad too wide and it was less accurate to find the switch.

I ended up making a “donut” ring using the paper punch and a leather punch for the smaller hole. (see photo above)

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Edited by: beam0 on 05/17/2018 - 17:30
DavidEF
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I like your creativity. I’m sure this works really well. But, does it ever annoy you to have a rough button to press?

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
-Ayn Rand

beam0
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David, good point about the “side effects”…

Only on the Jetbeam E20R did I think that, just because that switch is so large flat and smooth, however for those same reasons it seems harder to locate in the dark.

I don’t put it on certain lights that I use for work and I can see the switch, only for lights that I’ll need in total darkness,
.

If someone needs to retain the smooth feel of their switch they can apply a small strip or pad directly under the switch (like I did on the TC20) or maybe on either side around it, that works great as well.

But in general the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, To me one of the worst things about side switches is rolling a light around in my hand trying to feel for the switch in the dark.

.
Reminds me of something I just read on a medication info sheet:
“your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects” Smile

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Nice idea beam0. Thumbs Up

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chadvone
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Sweet

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DavidEF wrote:
I like your creativity. I’m sure this works really well. But, does it ever annoy you to have a rough button to press?

Pretty much all tail switches on flashlights have a textured rubber boot.
Almost all flashlights have knurling on them somewhere.

Why would some texture on the switch be any different?
It helps find the switch, which is why flashlights have ridges or texture on/around the switch already.

beam0
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MRsDNF wrote:
Nice idea beam0. Thumbs Up
chadvone wrote:
Sweet

Thanks!

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beam0
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Enderman wrote:

Pretty much all tail switches on flashlights have a textured rubber boot.
Almost all flashlights have knurling on them somewhere.

Why would some texture on the switch be any different?
It helps find the switch, which is why flashlights have ridges or texture on/around the switch already.

What does this have to do with tail switch lights?

Regardless of whether you believe it or not, this stuff is a MAJOR difference from ANY knurling, maybe you’re thinking of the smoother texture tape? I’m using the VERY aggressive type of tape (mineral based, like sharp grains of sand) It’s a great resolve for locating a side switch in the dark. For me it totally corrects an unpleasant experience.

But of course it’s not for everyone, obviously you’ve never had any problems locating a side switch because the existing “ridges or texture on/around the switch” are working for you, It’s great that you’ve never experienced the issue, so no worries. Wink

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chadvone
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I took it that Enderman was defending the rough button idea.

DavidEF
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chadvone wrote:
I took it that Enderman was defending the rough button idea.

Yeah, I think he was responding to me asking about the rough button. The difference I see between the button being rough versus knurling or “rough” rubber boots, is that a sandpaper finish might actually wear out your skin a little when you press on it. The rubber boot won’t do that, and the knurling isn’t meant to be pressed on anyway, so those aren’t comparable. But, anyway, if the stuff works without bothering you, I’m okay with that. It was just a curiosity for me. Innocent

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
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beam0
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chadvone wrote:
I took it that Enderman was defending the rough button idea.
Looks like he’s saying it’s not textured enough…that placing “some texture on the switch” is no different than the knurling that almost all flashlights already have…

Enderman wrote:

Almost all flashlights have knurling on them somewhere.

Why would some texture on the switch be any different?

.
And he goes on to say the grip tape pad isn’t necessary because “flashlights already have ridges or texture on/around the switch, to help find it”

Enderman wrote:
It helps find the switch, which is why flashlights have ridges or texture on/around the switch already.

.

Enderman may have never experienced the problem or read anyone’s complaints about it, but know I’m not the only one who has, I’ve read many posts about the issue with locating side switches.

One thing I can say for sure, with this method I can spin a light around in my hand between my fingers feeling all of those existing knurling, ridges textures etc. but when your thumb or finger makes even the slightest contact with this tape, you’ll know it immediately!

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Glow in the dark paint?

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I like it.

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beam0 wrote:
chadvone wrote:
I took it that Enderman was defending the rough button idea.
Looks like he’s saying it’s not textured enough

beam0, I like that you found a grippy tape that helps you.

At first I took Enderman the way you did, but after reading chadvone and rereading the quote in Endermans post, it sounds like hes supporting your rough patch idea, not contradicting it.

As DavidEF suggested, focus on the comment Enderman quoted and was replying to:

Enderman wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
… does it ever annoy you to have a rough button to press?

It helps find the switch…

His [not quoted] language structure before that statement, created a misunderstanding, for you and I both, at first :-).

Lightbringer
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Like pressing on a cat’s tongue…

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beam0
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I’ve come to the conclusion that Enderman didn’t realize the type of grit tape I used, most of his statements do make sense for the smoother grip tape they use on pistol grips etc.

It’s actually a good thing he commented on it because it caused me to further explain in detail the exact type of tape I used. In hindsight I realized there are (far) less aggressive tapes out there that are fairly common and pretty much would have no effect.

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beam0
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Lightbringer wrote:
Like pressing on a cat’s tongue…
Yes it feels something like that when you feel it to locate, but in actual pressing using the button you don’t really feel it that much.

For me it’s an awesome fix for my issues finding side switches in darkness. Also look at the photo of my TC20, the grip pad isn’t even on the switch, and it works wonders for a switch locator!

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

beam0
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The tape I used is the very aggressive type, similar to medium coarse sandpaper.

.
…..Here’s the tape I used, had it left over from other projects: ………………………………..This may be very similar, I’ll check it at Lowe’s next time if they have it.

.

(Click on photos for links)

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moderator007
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This is a pretty cool idea. Thumbs Up
I have a Astrolux E01 that was extremely hard to find the button just by feel. I got so annoyed I made a taller switch button and installed a trit vial. Problem solved but this could have fixed the problem with a lot less work. I would probably have went with a little finer grit for my personal touch. Wink

chadvone
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Now you got me thinking of doing a whole dang light in that stuff.

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Nice trick Thumbs Up
Yeah, side switch is uncomfortable Facepalm

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I have the tape on about 10 handgun grips and it’s not something that tears up or really bothers the skin, at least mine. It’s provides a great feel and is something I highly recommend for anyone with slippery handgun grips. No skin problems even with full bore .357 mag loads.

Now I’m going to have to stick some on my side switch lights Smile

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Another method you could use for similar effect if you feel the tape slips or moves out of place is apply a thin layer of resin or JBWeld then sprinkled with silicone carbide grit pressed in, various grit sizes available. Once it sets brush off the excess.

beam0
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chadvone wrote:
Now you got me thinking of doing a whole dang light in that stuff.
I know, the idea actually was born out of me wanting to add a “band” of it on the head of the A3S zoomie, due to poor grip when one-hand extending/retracting the sliding head, it really needed a band of knurling there.

But I ended up stretching a silicone “vape band” around the head for that problem, you can see it in my photo if you look closely. Works like a charm!

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beam0
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CRX wrote:
Another method you could use for similar effect if you feel the tape slips or moves out of place is apply a thin layer of resin or JBWeld then sprinkled with silicone carbide grit pressed in, various grit sizes available. Once it sets brush off the excess.
Yeah that’s a great idea, I did worry about it slipping but so far so good – no issues, the stuff has got a pretty darn sticky adhesive.

The more I play with these lights tonight the more I like it. Love It’s truly a game changer for me!

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"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

beam0
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lumenzilla wrote:
Nice trick Thumbs Up

Yeah, side switch is uncomfortable Facepalm

It’s really not at all, you maybe need to try it yourself before passing judgment. Smile

Of course different people, different skin. My hands/fingertips are kind of rough, so no issue at all here. Everything is a trade off, it’s what’s most important to you. For me fumbling for these side switches in the dark is not only “uncomfortable” it’s downright frustrating!

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"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

Lightbringer
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chadvone wrote:
Now you got me thinking of doing a whole dang light in that stuff.

Those who love “aggressive knurling” would be in Hawg Heaven with that stuff…

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beam0
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For the TC20 I ended up making a “donut” ring using the paper punch and a leather punch for the smaller hole.

.

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

chadvone
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How well do you think it will stick with pocket carry? Looks easy to replace. Just wondering.

Have magnets glued to my pocket clip then covered with shrink tubing. The tubing last about 2 months.

I think its worth it but others might not.

SIGShooter
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chadvone wrote:
How well do you think it will stick with pocket carry? Looks easy to replace. Just wondering.

Have magnets glued to my pocket clip then covered with shrink tubing. The tubing last about 2 months.

I think its worth it but others might not.


I haven’t tried it yet but my guess is that it would stick pretty well (depending on the type/brand of tape of course). I have a strip running down the front strap of pistols with some tucked into the grips and others not. I haven’t noticed any of them lifting off with some of the pistols having 10k plus rounds through them. There’s more surface area on the front strap tape but there’s also a lot more force being applied to the guns than pressing or carrying a flashlight.
beam0
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Hey chadvone, that’s a good question and one I’ve thought about as well. I haven’t had these on long enough for any real life pocket testing, I’m currently recovering from a surgery and I’m not wearing regular pants or jeans yet, and probably won’t be for another week or two.

But like SIGshooter said, this stuff stays pretty solid. I notice it’s slightly moveable when first applied but it seems to “set” once it’s been on for a while. From what I’m seeing it will survive for basic EDC, but between different lights / pockets YMMV

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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