Original BLF GT (XHP-35 HI) Switch issue.

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LumenFanBoy
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Original BLF GT (XHP-35 HI) Switch issue.

‘Afteroon. I come here seeking some advice about my BLF GT.

Now, I’ve owned my BLF GT for maybe just over a month or so, and ever since day one it’s had a problematic switch. 99% of the time I have to press the switch at a certain angle to get it to work, and for a few weeks that worked okay. Until now when I can barely turn on the light. The angle at which I have to press the switch changes every time I use it. I can hear the switch clicking, but it’s like it doesn’t register that I’m pressing it.

While I’ve never dismantled a flashlight of this calibre, (or any for that matter) I have taken apart electronics before, including consoles and desktop PC’s. I want to get my most impressive and talked about light back in service, hence why I’m here. What should I do about this? I purchased the light from Nealsgadgets if that makes any difference. Is there anywhere I can buy a replacement switch from, or any strip down guides for the GT I should know about?

Truth be told I miss using this gargantuan thrower; it’s an absolute beast. Any help on this issue is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance

Robin Dobbie
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That sucks on a brand new light. You can try contacting Neal, but many people, myself included, have never received communication from him. If you already have attempted contact, you might wait a couple weeks because sometimes that’s considered a “fast” response. This could be exasperated by the fact that we’re coming out of the lunar new year celebrations and there’s no telling how much stuff he has to catch up with. That said, sometimes starting a paypal dispute is the only way to get things done with the guy. Sucks.

I would say the switch is the #1 problem of any flashlight I’ve ever owned. When we look at replacing switches, one of the specifications you can choose is how many actuations the switch is rated to handle. I was shocked that some switches are rated so poorly that one could theoretically exhaust a switch in as little as 5 minutes of clicking on and off repeatedly. Not sure what the switch in the GT is rated for, but not enough, it would seem.

No disrespect intended, but why did you choose the original GT in 2021? We have LEPs, the GT4, the GT94, and tiny little thowers with the osram 1mm emitters.

CrashOne
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I have a wonky switch as well. Need to press it firmly and longer than when I received it (although barely used), that makes using certain modes very hard. Maybe I’ll try to replace the switch in the near future.

Tom E
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I could repair it, maybe send you a replacement switch. It would have to be soldered though - are you experienced soldering?

For repairing it, afraid shipping might be crazy, unless the driver and switch can be removed in one piece. Let me check mine if that's do-able. That though would still require soldering. Hhmm, maybe just the head? Shipping would still be pricey I would think.

LumenFanBoy
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Robin Dobbie wrote:
That sucks on a brand new light. You can try contacting Neal, but many people, myself included, have never received communication from him. If you already have attempted contact, you might wait a couple weeks because sometimes that’s considered a “fast” response. This could be exasperated by the fact that we’re coming out of the lunar new year celebrations and there’s no telling how much stuff he has to catch up with. That said, sometimes starting a paypal dispute is the only way to get things done with the guy. Sucks.

I would say the switch is the #1 problem of any flashlight I’ve ever owned. When we look at replacing switches, one of the specifications you can choose is how many actuations the switch is rated to handle. I was shocked that some switches are rated so poorly that one could theoretically exhaust a switch in as little as 5 minutes of clicking on and off repeatedly. Not sure what the switch in the GT is rated for, but not enough, it would seem.

No disrespect intended, but why did you choose the original GT in 2021? We have LEPs, the GT4, the GT94, and tiny little thowers with the osram 1mm emitters.

Yeah it’s not exactly ideal. I’ve had issues with quite a few lights in my collection; I’m just a bit bummed that my GT is now one of them. I haven’t tried contacting Neal, but given everyone elses respones from him I don’t feel like I want to try. Only times I’ve contacted him is to ask very brief questions about an order or an out of stock items; something that can be resolved in one message.

In total, I’ve received a faulty/DOA custom D4V2 (Replacement on the way), an EDC18 with a dodgy switch (and was quickly made aware of the poor quality coating on the switch, something which reviews didn’t mention), an ROT66 which had severe flickering issues (Resolved by some metal polish on the springs and contacts) and now my GT.

Well to cut a long story short, my two friends who are into torches have GT’s. One a GT70, and the other a GT90 and we always wondered how the original GT compared. I acquired a an original GT because it was of equal value to some items I bought on my friends behalf and sent down coutry to him, and we agreed that an original GT was an acceptable method of payment haha. I also have an SST-40 FT03 and a GT Nano, so I have technically sampled the W1

LumenFanBoy
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Tom E wrote:

I could repair it, maybe send you a replacement switch. It would have to be soldered though – are you experienced soldering?


For repairing it, afraid shipping might be crazy, unless the driver and switch can be removed in one piece. Let me check mine if that’s do-able. That though would still require soldering. Hhmm, maybe just the head? Shipping would still be pricey I would think.

Thanks for the offer. Like you said, shipping would be a killer from the UK to the USA. I do have some experience with soldering, but I have a friend who has a better soldering setup and has more experience than I. I remember assisting in the removal of his GT70’s bezel… took two of us and a large oil filter strap to remove!

If the switch is reasonably easy to access I would try to solder on a new one. Or acquire a new switch and send it over to my mate with his soldering setup.

Tom E
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OK, let me look at it this evening - see what's involved.

LumenFanBoy
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Tom E wrote:

OK, let me look at it this evening – see what’s involved.

Thanks man, that’s really good of you

Tom E
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I got way more of these BLF GT big lights than I want or need Facepalm 

LumenFanBoy
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Tom E wrote:

I got way more of these BLF GT big lights than I want or need Facepalm 

Is there such a thing as too many GT’s? I don’t think so Wink

Sirstinky
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I think the switch is one of those 5.1 × 5.1mm x1.6mm SMD tactile switches. It just solders to the switch pcb and can be swapped out fairy easily. I just did one and it’s totally doable with the right soldering setup and steady hands.

Tom E
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Ok, I updated 3 BLF GT's to BLF GT90's from kits bought from TA. So, I got 3 spare GT drivers with the stock switches - all pretty much brand new.

Your in England, so from the US, maybe a small bubble mailer? Not sure... Maybe you can find someone in England or Europe that updated their GT?

LumenFanBoy
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Tom E wrote:

Ok, I updated 3 BLF GT’s to BLF GT90’s from kits bought from TA. So, I got 3 spare GT drivers with the stock switches – all pretty much brand new.


Your in England, so from the US, maybe a small bubble mailer? Not sure… Maybe you can find someone in England or Europe that updated their GT?

I would ordinarily try to find someone more local to me that has one available, but shipping from Europe is notoriously troublesome after brexit. Even standard Banggood shipping is more expensive now.

Do you have any idea how much shipping would be for a small package from the USA?

Tom E
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No unfortunately.

LumenFanBoy
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Tom E wrote:

No unfortunately.

Here’s a quick thought: Does the switch on the GT have any part numbers on it? If it does, I could see if there’s any electrical vendors in the UK that stock them

LumenFanBoy
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I’ve got a quick update for you all.

After finding a set of old circlip pliers in the shed (That were nearly too small for the GT!) and getting them cleaned off, I tried tightening the driver and switch retaining rings on the GT. The driver ring wasn’t loose, but it wasn’t particularly tight either. I tightened it and did the same with the switch ring, making sure to get it real tight. Now the switch is more consistent. Make sure to press the switch in the dead centre and it’s usually just fine. I’m gonna use it more over the coming nights and see if anything changes.

I’ll post here with my findings