Comparison Review: tailcapalooza - Solarforce switch extravaganza

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ri chevy
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S10  $7.50  (comes with the L2T)

- forward clicky

- buff black "HAIII"

- 6061 aluminum

- 14mm boot

- no provision for lanyard

- will not tail stand

 

Thanks for all you do here Foy!  I really enjoy reading your threads on the Solarforce lights and switches.  But I have to ask a question regarding the S10 L2T switch.  You stated it was HAIII, (I am sure that you got the information from the Solarforce website) but it does not look like it has Hard Anodizing on the switch (Hence the different coloring).  My L2T switch does not say HAIII on the bottom looking at the boot.  Looks and feels like more of a black phosphate/parkerized type of finish.  And what about the Tactical S7 switch?  That is a HAIII switch that is a Surefire copy type of switch.  Not sure if that fits on the L2T?  Any updates on these?  Thanks in advance for your help. 

richardhill5
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Hi, I have enjoyed reading the posts and great work Foy.. But my question is what is the difference with the tail caps in amps... what is acheived by having say a 3amp cap compaired to a 2amp cap? or 3 to 5amp?

I currently have a L2 running a no name brand T6 until my Solarforce one arrives..

Thanks Richard.

Foy
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ri chevy -

My bad for relying on Solarforce's ever-changing specs.  No, I don't think it's HAIII.  Actually, I don't know what it is.  It's buff black for sure but that's just my interpretation of what the finish looks like.  They did list the finish as being HAIII but now I see that it does not say that . . . sorry and thanks for catching it.

 

Foy

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ri chevy
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No problem Foy.  I was just curious as to the HAIII.  My stock L2T did not have any HAIII markings on the switch.  The Solarforcesales site does need some sprucing up to get the "correctness" in actual terms and verbiage of their lights.  Have you tried the Tactical S7 switch?  It looks like it is a little shorter, and more of a Surefire type of switch. 

Foy
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No, I don't have the S7 but it should match a black L2P.

Also, I just noticed their site still says the S10 "L2T" switch is HA III and the picture even shows it printed on the cap?  If it is, it seems like it wouldn't match an L2T but they list it as an L2T switch.

http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FA&s=18&id=233 

 

weirdFoy

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ri chevy
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Is the S10 switch a different switch than the stock L2T?  I did notice that the website showed the HAIII on the S10 switch.  Thanks Foy. 

benckie
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one of my solaforce HAIII switches is soft like butter i droped it 3 feet onto the tiles and it is scratched with a small dent

Foy
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Maybe gravity down under is stronger.

(tap-tap-tap) is this mic on?  can you folks in the back hear me?

 

youfolkshavebeengreatthankuuuuthankyouverymuchFoy

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ri chevy
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Does the higher amperage (5A) S7 tactical switch provide any more light to a flashlight?  I guess what I am asking is what is the difference between the different amperage switches, mainly 3A versus 5A Solarforce switches?  What do the different amperage switches do for a light?  Thanks in advance for the help in understanding switches. 

Foy
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Please experts, correct whatever I'm about to get wrong . . .

Those ratings have more to do with how much maximum current the switch can withstand, rather than how much they allow.  The current on most regulated drop-ins is determined by the driver.  The switch simply completes (on) or interupts (off) the juice going to the driver.  The driver then either decreases the current (buck) increases it (boost) and/or lets it go on through direct.

I've experienced a several switch failures playing the xxxFire 50x lottery.  Sometimes these were my own fault.  Like, for example, my continuing practice of getting a DoucheFire 50stoopid originally equipped with an R2 or Q5 (with a tail switch presumably rated for that low output drop-in, i.e <1.50 amps) and then loading that bad boy with a 3.5> amp direct drive XM-L and un-protected 18650.  I then come on here and rant about the lousy quality of 50suck hosts and their "weak" switches.

 

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benckie
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I think your on the money there Foy a 7 amp switch will not give a led 7 amps with a 3 amp driver, it will only allow 3 amps to pass through it, but a 7 amp switch should last longer at 4 amps then a 3 amp switch if that makes sence. All the solarforce switches I have (6) have been fine for under 2 amps by my current draw test,s not sure what the standard old style L2, new tail standing L2P and my new L2X switch's are rated for, or the soft HA3 tail standing forward clicky and the Matt black S1 style switch.

ri chevy
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Thanks for the clarification guys!  I always learn something new here every day!  Smile

ezarc
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Great write up.

 

I bookmarked this page as I'm looking to change the head and tail on my L2 when it arrives. 

Foy
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I need to update because I have new Solarforce caps to include . . .

 

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ri chevy
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What did you get Foy?  What new caps are out? 

Foy
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No new caps, just new to me.  The S5 and the 2nd 3-mode A.I. S8 switch that comes with the M8.

 

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Tony Hanna
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Foy,

I noticed in your M6 review the stainless bezel on the s9 will unscrew leaving it similar to a tactical switch. Is the s11 supposed to do the same? I've tried mine but it's really tight and I didn't want to force it in case it's glued or pressed instead of threaded like the s9. With cold weather here I'm thinking it would be nice to be able to remove it when needed for easier use with gloves.

Thanks,

Tony

ezarc
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I thought I'd ask in here instead of making another thread, what's the difference between reverse and forward clicky? 

Forward clicky is firmer to press in and just a qick tap to turn off and reverse clicky is the opposite? 

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Tony - The stainless ring on the M6 is the only one I can get off.  I have another S9 switch and I've hurt myself trying to unscrew it.  I guess they're different, although they seem the same otherwise.

 

ezarc - When you press a reverse clicky, the light does not come on until you release the button or . . . when reversing the button.  The light comes on immediately when pressing a forward clicky . . . forward.

 

Foy

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Lensman
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But, with a forward clicky, don't you have to click off to change modes? I'm basing this on my Romisen RC-29 which is the only forward clicky light I own..

Tony Hanna
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

Tony - The stainless ring on the M6 is the only one I can get off.  I have another S9 switch and I've hurt myself trying to unscrew it.  I guess they're different, although they seem the same otherwise.

Foy

Thanks Foy!

Hmm. doesn't make sense that they'd go to the trouble to change tooling for an otherwise identical switch. High strength threadlock maybe? I wonder if I could heat the stainless enough to get the bezel loosened up without damaging the ano? I may fool with it later. If it all goes horribly wrong I'll just have to order another s11.

Here's the switch that came with my L2P. I scuffed the ano on the garage floor so I decided to have some fun with it. I think it might look pretty good in combination with a Foybezel.Smile

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyz2897/6610875553/

Can't figure out how to post the pic but hopefully the link will work.

Tony

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I bet it will come off with heat or something else . . .

Hey . . . that looks pretty good.

 

notbadnotbadFoy

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Tony Hanna
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Flashlight Foy wrote:

I bet it will come off with heat or something else . . .

Hey . . . that looks pretty good.

 

notbadnotbadFoy

Just heat as it turns out and not very much of that. What I did was disassemble the switch and while holding the bottom of the tailcap with my bare hand, ran my mapp gas torch very briefly over the stainless feathering the stainless into the flame and quickly back out again. Once I could feel the aluminum starting to get warm, I slid an allen key through the lanyard holes, wrapped the bottom part of the tailcap in a towel for better grip and gave it a twist. It took two tries due to being very careful with the heat so as not to discolor the ano but on the second try it popped free and unscrewed easily. Now it spins on and off as easily as the one on my M6. Smile

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyz2897/6611260579/

Tony

visigoth
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Hi all.  Just picked up an L2T, and judging from this thread, if I want to switch the head or switch, nothing else in the Solarforce lineup matches that model's matt finish.  In an email, they told me that a new L2M would -- but it doesn't look as if it would be quite right.  Anyone have both?  I'm also wondering whether an L2x head or switch would work with the L2T body...

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I have both.  They don't match.  (L2T/L2M)

 

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visigoth
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Interesting.  So which black finishes *do* match?  Can you throw together any of the current HAIII bits?  Will an L2X bezel have the same black finish as a 2011 L2P?

(I know that "HAIII" is redundant, but it seems to have become official Solarforce terminology.)

I have a grey L2P 2011 on the way, as well as a gunmetal L2M (older model) -- I don't expect either of these to actually match anything, but they might look okay with black/SS parts.

Foy
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The cap and head on a new black L2P should be the same as an L2X . . . at least mine are.

 

Foy

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PCC
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Here are my Masterpieces. The tail cap in the foreground is the S4 that arrived today.

Here's my S3, S4, and S5.  The S5 came with the Masterpiece flashlight.

Taking all three switches apart, they all have the same switch mechanism and rubber button in them. They differ in details.  The retaining and spacer ring between the switch and rubber button on the S3 is different than used on the S4 and S5.  It could be because the S3 is an older switch.

Foy
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I need to try an S4.  Looks rather large.

 

Foy

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They're in order from shortest to tallest, left to right, in the second picture.  The S3 is discontinued and feels bulkier than the S4 except for the cigar ring.  If I find that I don't like the cigar ring then it's going on the lathe and the ring will be scrap aluminum. Also, I have a pair of the newer S18 18650 extenders and the threads on them are a bit out of spec on the large side and the S3 won't screw on to either extender.  It just barely starts then gets very tight very quickly, which is why I ended up buying the S4.  The S5 feels larger in my hands than it really is, probably because the round ring on the end and the hexagonal cut makes it fill my hands better.

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