05 October 2006

Flashlight Modifications

I recently found a website with parts and instructions and I built up a stunning modification of a 3D Maglite, based on the Welch-Allyn 1185 bulb rated at 9.6V. This light is commonly referred to as a Mag85. This bulb is the highest-rated output in lumens from Welch-Allyn. There are other bulbs being used in other modified lights, but this seems to be the current leader.

- I inserted a glass lens and a metal reflector to replace the stock plastic items which would melt with all the heat generated by this bulb.
- A 9AA-3D battery holder allows a person to insert 9 AA-sized NiMh rechargeable batteries and run them in series to obtain 10.8V and overdrive that bulb. With current draw and resistance, the total is reduced and the bulb never really sees that 10.8 anyway --- so there's no danger of killing the bulb.
- A high-temperature, low-resistance switch replaced the stock unit.- The key with batteries is to get either Eneloop or Duracell 2650 maH rechargeable NiMh cells. They hold an accurate charge and cycle well. The bottom line is a stock-looking Maglite 3D that puts out 817+ lumens, compared to the stock lumens rating of about 38. You can see a photo of the light output compared to another light here.

The attraction to the Maglite as a host is it's durability, low cost, and focusing beam. Occasionally, you can find a pre-built Mag85 for sale in the B/S/T forum. It's likely to be less expensive than mail-ordering all the parts from their different sources and then assembling everything yourself.

I've been reading and interacting with other forum members for several months, so... I'll answer any question you have about this -or other- lights.


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