Author Topic: 5D bright in a 2C light  (Read 330 times)

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Offline bykfixer

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5D bright in a 2C light
« on: October 07, 2017, 03:09:50 AM »
Ok, so this thread won't impress the folks who require their flashlight to be bright like an automotive light. Idea being bright like a big light in a smaller package. Oh, and using the stock parts n pieces the light came with.

Take your basic 2C Maglite for example. It fits in the car in small places, doesn't take up much room in a back pack nor shelf space. But that little guy aint very bright either. Yet it's made out of the same stuff those Louiville Slugger sized Mags have too. The 5-6 cell parts didn't fry or melt, so neither will the 2-3 cell parts.

Today we have a vast selection of rechargeable fuels cells that can provide a bunch of power on demand. With these mods raw power is not a good idea. Too much too fast will poof your bulb. Instead the kinder/gentler cell is the way to go.

LifePo4 18500's are showing up in box stores called "solar lantern" batteries. Made by the big names, these are not your average X-Fire type, but reliable instead. In battery stores they have what's called 1amp 18650's. Those too are nice and gentle.
A pair of 18500's easily replaces 2 C cells. A pair of 18650's replace 3 C cells.

Next, a gap filler sleeve is in order. Black PVC gas pipe at 3/4" comes in 12" straight sections and costs about a dollar at hardware stores. The inside diameter allows the 18mm cell to easily slide in and out. The outside diameter of this thin wall pipe easily slides in and out of the C sized barrel. Perfect fit? No. Yet not bad... not bad at all.

So you've got your fuel and tubing from a box store, but what about light bulbs? Well the 2x 18500 LifePo4 provides about 6 volts when rested so a 5 cell bulb (1.2 x 5 = 6.0 volts) will provide about 150 lumens. A 4 cell bulb about 200 lumens but the lifespan is greatly reduced. Oh it'll still last a few hours so no big worries there. One like a KPR113 krypton is great and can be found relatively cheap on the internet. Bi-pin Mag modules work great in Maglites and are easily found.

For a 3 cell light the 2x 18650 will push about 7 volts so a 6 cell bulb is best.
I'll add pics and more bulb model numbers later. But suffice to say, for less than $20 your 2-3C flashlight can really come alive with no modifications other than a fuel cell and light bulb update.
John 3:16

Offline robo819

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Re: 5D bright in a 2C light
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 09:25:40 PM »
Thanks for the info on this. Pretty cool thing to have a powerful Ican.
I would have to dig around but I am sure I still have some Ican lights around here this trick could work for.

Offline bykfixer

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Re: 5D bright in a 2C light
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 04:43:01 PM »
I mentioned a while ago that I'd supply pix. Well today I did a group photo with all 8 I've done so far with a brief description of what was used for each one.


Note each one is completely reversable.

Vertical L to R:
1) Franco 2C from about 1921 using 2 LifePo4 18500's, a 3/4" ID pvc schedule 80 sleeve and an e10 model 162 bulb. About 100 floody lumens from that fisheye lens.

2) 1940's Olin safety light using 2x 18500 LifePo4's, a 3/4" schedule 80 pvc sleeve and a K13 6 volt krypton bulb. About 125 nice, general purpose lumens with a spot that throws 75 yards easily.

3) Kel-Lite CPL-2 from late 1960's using 2x 18500 LifePo4 cells, 3/4" schedule 80 pvc sleeve and a Maglite LMSA401 4cell xenon bulb. About 150 throwey lumens.

4) Maglite 2C classic from the late 1990's using 2x 18500 LifePo4 cells, 3/4" pvc schedule 80 cells and a 4 cell Maglite bi-pin bulb upgrade kit and a flashlight lens dot com akrylite lens whose slight difussion really cleans up the beam without affecting output. Throws like a Maglite should but much brighter than the 2 cell did.

Horizontal Top to Bottom:
5) 2 cell Maglite ML25 IT using 2x 18500 cells, 3/4" pvc schedule 80 sleeve and a Maglite 4 cell bipin. Rivals its LT conterpart with a nice toasty incan beam instead. Using the akrylite lens in this one causes it to look LED beam clean as well.

6) 3 cell Maglite ML25 IT using 2x 1amp low output 18650's, a 3/4" pvc schedule 80 sleeve, a Streamlight TL3 bulb and akrylite lens. I chose the TL3 bulb over Mag 5 and 6 cell bi-pins because it has a better looking beam. The 5 cell was brighter, but filament shadows were bad even with the akrylite lens. The TL3 bulb is brighter than the 6 cell bulb. Note, with extended use this one melts the reflector slightly around the bulb, but an LT reflector (with a larger hole) will work. Or you can drill out the hole a couple of millimeters, but I chose to keep it stock.

7) A solid brass number using 2x 18500 LifePo4 cells, a 3/4" pvc schedule 80 sleeve and KPR118 bulb whose tip and globe fit through the oem metal reflector opening. Other PR bulb globes were too large. A much brighter than 2c beam that is pretty floody due to a shallow reflector, but a fun flashlight anyway. Easily lights 100 feet well.

8) (note, not completed yet) 1950's HIPCO made house brand light probably sold in ma-n-pa hardware stores that'll use 2x 18500 LifePo4 cells, a 3/4" pvc schedule 80 sleeve, a Maglite LMSA401 xenon bulb and a vintage Rayovac 1-1/8" glass lens from the 1960's. I just ran out of batteries so it's built, but waiting on fuel.

I did this to some really old lights from the 1910's but the metal parts got very warm, very quickly so those ideas were abandoned. Therefore no pix of those will happen.

Pretty much any C size flashlight that was built with the same parts used in multi-cell lights will put up with the heat of this mod and provide a 5-6 cell brightness in a jacket pocket friendly flashlight.

 I recently acquired a 3 C Kel-Lite and when it arrives I'll do a pair of low output 18650's and try out Mags LMSA 501 or 601 xenon bulbs in it. I'm thinking it'll be about 200 lumens with the 5 cell bulb.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 04:47:35 PM by bykfixer »
John 3:16