How to change an EL light button...
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Thread: How to change an EL light button...

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  1. #1
    Member StephenWatch's Avatar
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    How to change an EL light button...

    I recently wanted to change the EL button on one of my G7900s, but on searching, I couldn't find a thread although I could swear I've seen something in the past. Anyway, went ahead and did it. My initial advice is don't! This is the trickiest most irritating mod I have done. I remember some previous advice which said to do this inside a ziplock bag - I tried and found it impossible. The optical quality of the bag is so poor that I couldn't even focus on the circlip properly! Admittedly, if you've much better eyesight than me, this may not be such an issue.

    This is the circlip - also called the 'e' clip by Casio...

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    To gain access to the button, you need to remove the module from the watch. This is the easy bit, simply remove the 4 x screws at the side holding on the bezel, and ease the bezel over the side buttons, it's quite flexible and you won't break it.

    Then, remove the watch back - keep these screws separate as they are different to the side ones. Gently remove the plastic module guard, and take note of the way it is orientated. It needs to be located with the hole directly over the 'alarm' spring, otherwise you'll insulate it from the watchback and lose your alarm.

    Take out the guard before getting access to the module...

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    Once, you take the guard out, then ease the module out, taking care not to scratch it, lay it down on a soft cloth, out of the way of your immediate work station.

    You will then gain access to the 'e' clip (circlip) that holds the light button on. This is the tricky bit. The 'ziplock' advice is handy here as the clip will spring off quite sharply. It just needs eased out with a very small screwdriver. The old button can then be pushed out, but take care as there is a small spring located at the base of the button stem.

    The holy grail - 'e' clip in place...

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    The trickiest bit is installing the new button. I found it easiest to insert the new button, making sure that the top indent on the stem was flush with the internal case. Then, whilst resting the clip on the case, slide the 'e' clip onto the stem -this is the bit that will have you cursing. Be careful not to apply so much force that the screwdriver slips and can potentially scratch the inside of the glass (no, of course I didn't do that! But, I was dam close )

    Button with spring in separate bag

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    When the clips eventually locates itself, you will instantly get a warm glow all over and swear that you'll never open another watch!!
    Last edited by StephenWatch; June 25th, 2012 at 19:45.
    xevious, dobber72, anxiety and 1 others like this.
    Never argue with an idiot - they'll only bring you down to their level and win from experience...



    GW7900B (Stealth modded), GW7900CD-9ER (slightly modded), G7900A-7ER (Camo modded) G7900MS-1BDR, GW2500BD, ProTrek PRG 60YT (RIP), Chase Durer Mach 3, 2 x Citizen Skyhawks (Black & Titanium), Citizen Carbon Promaster JY0075-54E, 2 x vintage Seiko Chronographs, Invicat Grand Diver, Citizen BL5280-52E. Casio GWA 1100-1AER, GWG 1000-1A3ER (J&K metal bracelet conversion). GA400...

  2. #2
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Re: How to change an EL light button...

    Alert to mods... maybe move this to "Articles & Tutorials"?


    Stephen, thanks for your posting about this light button replacement. I also read that tutorial that describes doing this inside a plastic bag and find that technique rather problematic for dexterity and visibility. The best thing to do is perform the work in a brightly lit room, watch placed in an empty dresser drawer, and a mosquito net over you (or a thin sheet otherwise). That's being absolutely paranoid that the button will go flying and send the spring deep into the netherworld. However, if you know how to be cautious with springs that may fly, you can improvise in more conventional ways.

    Yeah, removal of the "C" or "e" clip can be easy but replacement is the most difficult. It seems like a small set of needle nose pliers works best.
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Omega Seamaster | CASIO: TW-7000, MRG-220, RevMan, G-2000D, DW-5700ML, GW-9100 | Seiko SKA-413, SBPG001

  3. #3
    Member mattyboy's Avatar
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    Re: How to change an EL light button...

    Wowowowowow

    How strange!! I did this very mod less than 2 hours and nearly got to the point of suicide. Horribly frustrating!


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  5. #4
    Member dobber72's Avatar
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    Re: How to change an EL light button...

    I have recently done a lot of button changes, converting 2 x DW002 to DW6600 and after I didn't like the result a DW6900G to a DW002 case with DW6600 buttons then swapping buttons from one DW004 case to an empty case that adds up to 20 button swaps. I hated doing this when I first started modding but after a bit of practice it becomes immensely satisfying and can be done very quickly and without the loss of any clips. You are right about the light button though, that is a real pain after a lot of tries I have found the way you described is the only way to do it effectively. Rest the clip on the plastic where the button rod slots through and push the button till the indent is level with the plastic and then slide the clip on. I have a fantastic pair of tweezers which really help, very precise with a large flat gripping surface which really helps to hold the clips tightly without them pinging off. I am not kidding, once I started using these tweezers instead of the cheap rubbish it became almost easy. With the right tools anything can become easy and fun.

    The wonderful tweezers (from a company called Sephora, they do womens toiletries which is why they're pink, much better quality than mens toiletries)



    Disclaimer - Don't use these for changing batteries. Only use plastic tweezers for battery changes.
    Last edited by dobber72; June 26th, 2012 at 00:58.
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  6. #5
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Re: How to change an EL light button...

    The trick is definitely having the right tools, as dobber pointed out. The best scenario is to lock the casing in a vice, prop the button with something (like a stick) to keep it depressed, and use two small pliers or tweezers--one to orient the "e" clip and the other to squeeze the clip onto the button shaft. You can get by with less, but it just takes more patience to do it right. But the tip of putting the button shaft groove flush to the inside surface of the case is great, as it helps you focus on just pushing the clip rather than fiddling with keeping it level. I haven't done a button change yet, but now I'm very encouraged.
    Last edited by xevious; June 26th, 2012 at 17:43.
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Omega Seamaster | CASIO: TW-7000, MRG-220, RevMan, G-2000D, DW-5700ML, GW-9100 | Seiko SKA-413, SBPG001

  7. #6
    LUW
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    Re: How to change an EL light button...

    Oh crap...
    I'm waiting on a new light button for my 7900 . I was positive it wouldn't be a piece of cake, but didn't think it would be that hard. Guess it will be one of those jobs that I have to get the kids out of the house first.
    dobber72 and MiguelAyako like this.
    Cheers!
    Luciano

  8. #7
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    Re: How to change an EL light button...

    It´s not that hard at all. For the first few changes, i found it comforting to know i have spare clips from a dead G, but after some practice, it´s no big worry. If you do not have a watch holder, you can fix the crystal to the working surface with double sided tape.

    Kids in the house should be no problem, but if you live with a cat (well, usually they give you the feeling that you are allowed to live with them, but that´s OT) that likes to "help" make sure it´s not around.

    I´m planning t mod a DW 9052 case with a metallic light button and a G-2200 crystal, if i remeber to have teh camera at hand, I´ll try to do some pics.
    Kev55 likes this.

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