Author Topic: Battle lantern; restored and one converted to LED  (Read 10026 times)

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Offline 787Geoff

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Battle lantern; restored and one converted to LED
« on: April 09, 2019, 08:51:18 AM »


Hello all,

Newbie here!

I have acquired three battle lanterns.  One green painted USN, one yellow painted US in really, really bad shape and one brown which I thought was Bakelite but in fact was a faux Bakelite paint job over yellow case.   Had to chisel the old 6volt batteries out of one of the yellow version.  Yes, chisel and hammer.

Once I got the batteries out I disassembled the rest of the interior as far as possible. Then I gave the remaining parts an acid bath in dilute Muriatic and vinegar overnight.  The acid bath released the corrosion that had caked on the brass elements and outgassed to the brass screws.  I did not want to damaged the brass screws while forcing them out with a slotted screw driver.  Hence the acid to release the corrosion bonding of the male screw to the female screw insert.


  • unscrew the various parts
  • acid bath all parts to remove rust stains and copper sulphate corrosion
  • remove the gaskets from the front bezel, bulb and switch plate
  • remake the bezel gasket and bulb gasket from silicon rope and silicon gasket material for the switch plate
  • puttied any major defects on the case, then primed and painted two in yellow
  • left the brown one original as the painted surface was perfect but did acid wash the interior
  • remove all screws and brass contact plates
  • tap new screw holes (not many) due to stripped brass contact securing screw holes
  • repaired or fabricated brass contact plates as close to original as possible
  • rewire all three
  • install new two contact rubberized toggle switches
  • coated all contacts with contact preservative (conductive oil antioxidant mix)
  • install two new lantern bulbs, one was still working (GE-4546)

Once completed I was surprised at how dim these incandescent bulbs are, but of course I am spoiled in the LED world of lights.

Now there is a conversion for these by a Battle Lantern manufacturer but I went with a twelve volt LED tractor lantern swap which required a minor conversion of the parallel 6volt wiring to an in series 12 volt wiring.  (separate posting later).

So here are the three lanterns completed:

Firstly some before:

The green one:

with badly chipped and worn paint.  Corroded contacts and stained interior, Broken toggle switch and some stripped contact screws.  One brass contact plate was badly corroded and broke (resoldered).




I wont bother with the other before as they are all similar,  here are the afters:

I will make a separate posting of the restoration of the interior and the rewiring of the 6volt parallel to 12volt in series if any one is interested.  I used a direct sealed beam LED tractor light direct swap for the GE sealed beam right down to the insertion tab.

Cheers, Geoff

Offline bykfixer

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Re: Battle lantern; restored and one converted to LED
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 07:22:33 PM »
John 3:16

Offline 787Geoff

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Re: Battle lantern; restored and one converted to LED
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 08:37:04 AM »

Posted an led conversion on one of these: