Author Topic: End Cap Braid  (Read 4340 times)

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Offline jbisinger

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End Cap Braid
« on: March 04, 2016, 11:32:40 PM »
   Apparently a beneficial mod is the addition of a copper braid from the end cap spring to the end cap by soldering.  I'm having difficulty finding a source for the braid.  Would a solid copper rod(from spring tip to cap) be a suitable substitute??? Maybe even better since solid 1/8" dia. rod might be a better conductor than braid?  Thanks for any answers.

Offline Spasmod

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Re: End Cap Braid
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2016, 11:39:12 PM »
Hey Jack!

I'm not sure where most people get theirs, but one place you'll find copper braid is in CB coaxial cable.. or any copper braided coax for that matter. It's pretty cheap to buy in 1 meter (or yard) lengths.

You can use solid core copper if you bend it into a spring-like fashion, though if you use copper that's too thick it will stop your spring from being able to be compressed, thus potentially damaging your cell or stopping the tailcap from being fully tightened.  :)

Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: End Cap Braid
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 03:21:41 AM »
Hi, Jack!

THe copper braid that folks use for this is nothing more than copper solder wick available just about anywhere.  Here is an example:

Most use 2mm wick when they use wicking.  I personally don't like it.  Because soldering braid, or wicking, is made to suck up solder, it can be hard to keep the solder limited to only the very ends where you want to attach the braid at the top of the spring and base of the switch PCB.  When it sucks up too much solder the braid gets very stiff and no good for it's intended use.  Another issue with using copper braid is it is very fragile.  While flexible, it wears out quickly and frays in a relatively short order if there is a lot of spring compression & decompression.

The better thing to use is a 20 or 22 gauge copper strand wire encased in a soft, flexible silicone insulator.  Stranded copper wire is far tougher than the super fine strands used in copper wicking.  Here is an example.  Using this wire will will allow many, many compression cycles without any damage to the wire.  It is super flexible and will not interfere with the movement of the spring.  It's also easier to solder to the spring and PCB base.

The last thing you want to use is a solid copper rod or even solid copper wire.  It is nowhere flexible enough and will create an extra point of failure at the solder joints or from bend fatigue.  Another possible issue is a solid wire might bend when the tailcap is tightened and once bent, the spring is held back from expanding with battery movement.  Each time the battery is replaced the solid copper will get stiffer and eventually a reliable connection is harder to get.

I hope this helps.  If you do any driver installs or replace the wires from driver to LED then you should already have this wire.  If not, get some and use it for all your mod wiring in the head and tail of the flashlight. ;)

« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 03:22:29 AM by JohnnyMac »