Fenix E12 switch repair?

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chazzo
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Fenix E12 switch repair?

Greetings, experts.

Can anyone advise whether it’s possible to remove the tail switch from a Fenix E12? Mine has become intermittent. I see that some Fenix models have a removable tailcap and a threaded ring to retain the switch mechanism, but on the E12 it looks as if it might be just a press fit at the bottom of the tube and it’s very hard to reach.

On a wider note, after lurking here for a while I have ordered a Convoy S2+, a Lumintop Tool AA and Sofirn (I think) D25 headlamp. I don’t have the energy to become a modder but thanks to your collective expertise I expect to be pleased with these Smile

Jerommel
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Do you have an image hosting account?
You should post some pictures of the tailcap, so we can see what you mean.

And welcome to BLF !

raccoon city
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Thanks for joining the party, chazzo!

Here's how to post pics:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/56178

102_milla

chazzo
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Thanks both. Being at the bottom of the tube, it’s hard to photograph. This is about the best I can do.

Around the edge you can see what looks like four metal tabs, and I would say they somehow lock the brass ring into the tube – I’m guessing simply by friction. I’m certain the whole tube is made in one piece, in other words there’s no end cap to remove. Apart from the slots for the tabs, there’s just one small hole in the brass ring – you can just see it at the bottom of the photo. I don’t think it unscrews (and there’s no sign of a thread).

In other words … I reckon it’s non-fixable.

The photo was displaying OK yesterday but not today; I don’t know why. The original is at https://thiswritingbusiness.com/other/Fenix-E12.jpg.

CRX
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I would think there is a tailcap that unscrews, could be glued.

Jerommel
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Picture doesn’t show.
You should put that link to the original between exclamation marks or do it via “insert image”
Like this:

What i see it that the tailcap and the battery tube are 1 piece?

[edit] Oh, the picture does show in your post now. Strange.. [/edit]

chazzo
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CRX wrote:
I would think there is a tailcap that unscrews, could be glued.

You must be right. Making it in one piece would be needlessly difficult, if indeed it’s posssible.

Any advice on unscrewing without damaging the surface? The body has a couple of flats I should be able to get a grip on. The cap will be more difficult.

chazzo
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Jerommel wrote:
What i see it that the tailcap and the battery tube are 1 piece?

That’s what I thought originally. But now I reckon CRX must be right. If I can get it unscrewed I’ll post a better picture.

Jerommel wrote:
Oh, the picture does show in your post now. Strange..

…Especially as it was OK on my screen yesterday but not today…

CRX
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I use strips of 1mm rubber sheet wrapped around, two cloths or similar. If it doesn’t budge, work out some then come back to it Big Smile

Hold the light body in a cloth, apply some heat to the tail then grip the tail with a cloth or similar and try that.
You want enough heat into it to soften the glue but not melt internals.
If you have to get really mean, wrap the two pieces well and use grips, maybe heat too.

chazzo
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Thanks for that, especially how to deal with glue. I’m going to be travelling, so this will probably have to wait till the new year. But I will report back.

Henk4U2
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I cannot speak from first hand experience, because I don’t own an E12. On the site Foro Linternas I found a REVIEW. As far as I can translate, Fenix no longer includes a spare tailcap with the light, because the accessibility/possibility to change it is lost in the transition from model E11 to model E12.
IF the light consist of 2 pieces, head and body/tail (á la Jetbeam RRT-0) it “might” be possible to open the tail from the outside. Maybe there is an indent or something to sink your “teeth” in, in the area around the tailcap.

EDIT: from other sources I got the info that Fenix was very generous in applying glue in the head section, so my best guess is that it will be the same on the other end of the stick. So to speak.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

chazzo
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https://thiswritingbusiness.com/other/Fenix-E12-tailcap.jpg

So yes, it comes apart. I used plenty of wraps of PVC tape, a vice for the body and a mole wrench for the tailcap. I did manage to scrape the tailcap a bit but it still works. As you can see, there was plenty of threadlock.

The board carrying the switch just drops into place, and the “tabs” that I thought might be anchoring it into the tube are simply little projections that make contact with the end of the tube.

The soldering looks a bit rough on the photo, but actually I think it’s fine. So not much to go wrong apart from the clicky switch itself. If that does turn out to be faulty, what are the chances of getting a replacement?

[edit]Henk4U2, I forgot to thank you for that Spanish review. Yes, they seem fairly certain it’s a “2-piece” design…[/edit]

Jerommel
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Looks like an Omten 1288 reverse clicky switch.
As the name suggests, it should be 12mm long, 8mm wide and 8mm high (including the button).
Can you measure it’s size?
Try Google if they’re for sale within UK.
Maybe a UK member can send you one, because you’ll have to solder it on the switch PCB yourself, although there are also ready made PCB + switch offers out there, but usually from China, which takes long…
In case you can’t find that, get at least 2 bare switches, because especially when you’re not experienced in soldering (don’t know if you are), but even when you are experienced, these switches, although they’re pretty good, melt before you know it…
I think they’re made of modified candle wax or something.. Facepalm
For example, when you’re assembling a switch PCB, ALWAYS solder the spring onto it first !
Otherwise your new switch will melt…

If you can’t find anything, you can DM me and i’ll send you 2 bare switches (but i only have white ones, but they’re the same).
If you want to order several, check out the Convoy store on AliExpress.

Henk4U2
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Sorry if I pointed you in the wrong direction, but there was no indication this is a “regular” 3-piece flashlight. The E12 is an AA light, so the battery has a 14.5mm diameter. And the body a 15mm internal diameter (plm). That means a regular 1288 Omten on a 16mm PCB should fit. If not, you might have to file it down just a bit. This works for a Tool AA as well as for a Thorfire TG06S. Maybe the spring is too long, but that can be trimmed down. Simon of Convoy sells these Omten 1288 switches on a 16mm PCB.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

chazzo
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Thank you both for this excellent information. I’ll measure the switch when I have the chance and try to order a couple of replacements, with a new PCB as a fallback. I’m fairly good at soldering, so with your warning about temperatures I should be OK.

Your familiarity with these switches suggests that they might fail fairly often. Is that true, and if so, do some manufacturers use better switches? I bought the E12 because I was fed up with switch failures on cheap torches. My wife has another E12 that’s fine, but mine is unreliable enough to be a pain.

Apparently my Lumintop Tool AA has been delivered, so I’m looking forward to playing with that when I get home in a coupe of days.

Jerommel
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chazzo wrote:
Thank you both for this excellent information. I’ll measure the switch when I have the chance and try to order a couple of replacements, with a new PCB as a fallback. I’m fairly good at soldering, so with your warning about temperatures I should be OK.

Your familiarity with these switches suggests that they might fail fairly often. Is that true, and if so, do some manufacturers use better switches? I bought the E12 because I was fed up with switch failures on cheap torches. My wife has another E12 that’s fine, but mine is unreliable enough to be a pain.

Apparently my Lumintop Tool AA has been delivered, so I’m looking forward to playing with that when I get home in a coupe of days.


Actually, they don’t fail often at all.
They’re quite good at switching even high currents.
It’s just a little tricky to solder them, because the plastic body of the switch melts easily when soldering them, or like i said, even when you solder the battery spring on the other side of the switch PCB.
So i always have plenty of them in stock. Smile
chazzo
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Happy new year, all.

Jerommel wrote:
Actually, they don’t fail often at all. They’re quite good at switching even high currents.

OK, thanks. Then I guess you are using them a lot for modding purposes, not because they break.

Five switches ordered from AliExpress for USD 4 delivered. Not too bad, though I note you can get them cheaper in the US! I’ll be back in a few weeks…

chazzo
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I managed to replace the switch without melting anything. An Omten 1288 fits perfectly. The bad news is that this didn’t fix the problem of intermittent contact Angry

Originally I thought the problem was somewhere along the path from the tailcap to the point where the top of the tube contacts the main circuit board. I tried various measures to fix that, with no success. Then I realised that pressure on the switch helped, so I assumed the switch was faulty. Now I’m wondering if it might have to do with the glue used to secure the tailcap. Even with alcohol and WD-40 I didn’t succeed in removing it.

Jerommel
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What a bummer…

I suspect the connection between the switch PCB and the battery tube.

Did you try the light without the tail cap on, and connecting the battery minus with the battery tube via a piece of wire?

If that works without flickering that would strongly suggest what i suspect.

chazzo
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Jerommel wrote:
I suspect the connection between the switch PCB and the battery tube.

Thanks – that sounds very likely. Actually I wondered about a similar problem at the front end too. On my new Lumintop Tool AA there’s a small gap (~0.5 mm) between the tailcap and the flange on the body tube, and the same at the head end. On the Fenix there’s no gap, which suggests that either the head or the tailcap could run up against the body tube before there’s enough pressure to contact the respective PCB properly.

The glue makes the end cap hard to turn, and the problem is extremely intermittent – that’s to say 9 times out of 10 it works perfectly. I’ll try cleaning the threads properly and consider shaving a little off the end caps.

chazzo
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I think we’re finally fixed now. Not really impressed with the design of this comparatively expensive torch.

  • O-ring groove on the tail end is too shallow, I think; the original O-ring was chewed to ribbons and the new one stops the tailcap from tightening as far as it does without the O-ring.
  • Gluing the tailcap in place – presumably to stop the switch falling out, since there’s no retaining ring – seems a poor decision since it makes maintenance difficult.
  • Sharp threads.
  • Not enough clearance between the head and the flange on the body tube, and similarly at the tail – risks poor contact with the PCBs.

Perhaps I just got a bad one. My wife has the same model and hers works fine. I should have sent this one back.