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Thread: Navy Dive Light - Mod completed - BEAMSHOTS !!

  1. #1
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    Default Navy Dive Light - Mod completed - BEAMSHOTS !!

    Well, I have acquired a MONSTER dive-light from jason_01 (to whom many grateful thanks) and Im now looking forward to modding it. It was made for the British Royal Navy. Here it is:







    It was made in the UK, it says in 1993 but could just as well have been ~1922, lol. It is 12 inches long, and it weighs in at a modest 3 lbs 4 oz (1.5 kgs) which is heeaavyyyyy, man. It is SUPERB! Some more pics:





    The quality of the engineering is amazing. That tailcap is solid heavy stainless steel, with threads as smooth as butter. The body is cast aluminium, the lens is inch (6 mm) thick, the O-rings are ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick the thing is MASSIVE. It was obviously built to last, and it has to be practically unbreakable.






    It came with a bulb which, on examination, looked OK the filament seemed to be intact.





    I stole 3x D alkalines from the Dear Wifes radio, put them in the light and IT WORKED!!! ~15 lumens, lol.

    My plan is to mod it to take a WA1185 with 3x AW C Li-Ions. It will be the ultimate sleeper dive-light nobody will think an ancient clunker like this would be able to blast out ~1,000 lm lol. I really need to get a digital camera that does manual exposures so I can get a proper shot of the light with the POS stock bulb, and then another at the same exposure setting when Ive finished the mod.

    It should be a fairly easy job (if Im going to do it, it will have to be easy Im useless at fixing stuff).




    1. The tailswitch wont need any changing except to file the end of the spring flatter for a better contact.

    2. I will need a tube and spacer for AW's C Li-Ion cells to fit the 3D body.

    3. Ill also need a new reflector as the stock one is made of a thin metal, which could be tin-plate and is very poor (it seems extraordinary that the rest of the light is so solidly-made, and then they go and put this flimsy cr&p reflector in it). A Mag reflector is nearly the same size, so I have ordered 2 camless MOP reflectors from Fivemega, on the basis that Im bound to make a pigs ear of the first one when I try to mill it down to fit.

    4. Finally, I will need to find a bulb adaptor to take a 1185 does anyone know if this one would be the right size? The pins on a WA1185 are 4mm apart.

    Im not going to rush this I want to get it right.
    Last edited by DM51; 12-26-2007 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Update title
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    Flashaholic tussery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    4. Finally, I will need to find a bulb adaptor to take a 1185 — does anyone know if this one would be the right size? The pins on a WA1185 are 4mm apart.
    Would one of Fivemega's ceramic bi-pin mag drop ins work? You may want to look too see if he has any if it will.

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Is it me or the bore is not centered in the body?
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by tussery View Post
    Would one of Fivemega's ceramic bi-pin mag drop ins work? You may want to look too see if he has any if it will.
    I have a MN-fitting bi-pin socket which I may have to mod for this if I can't get the right adapter, but the adapter idea is neater as I can then use the original steel bulb carrier which fits perfectly in the light. Did FM make adapters with a fitting like the one in the link I posted? Do you have a link?
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by tino_ale View Post
    Is it me or the bore is not centered in the body?
    Well spotted - you are right. It is ~3mm off center, which is strange. I wonder how they were made - the casting could have been solid, then bored out, rather than hollow-cast. It is quite odd that they bored it off-center. The interior looks milled, but that could be the finishing process.
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    Flashaholic* Flash_Gordon's Avatar
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    Post Re: Navy Dive Light

    I believe Fivemegas ceramic filled bi-pin adapter is needed. The TerraLux may fit, but the guts are plastic and will probably melt in minutes.

    Your mod will be fun. I just hope any changes you make will not prevent that gem from being easily restored to stock.

    Good Luck.

    Mark

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Flash_Gordon & tussery, thanks very much for that help - I think I've found the adapter you meant but Aaargh!! - the thread is closed and there aren't any left. Oh well, maybe FM will do another run soon. I'll post in WTB, but I don't suppose people will want to sell...

    FG, you are right, and it will be my aim to keep everything I do reversible - I'm even going to keep that ~0.003 lumen bulb!
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Check with litho123 he might have some potted WA1185 then you wouldn't need and adapter.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by depusm12 View Post
    Check with litho123 he might have some potted WA1185 then you wouldn't need and adapter.
    Thanks depusm12, I might have to do that, but I have quite a stock of bi-pin bulbs I got from Litho, and the adapter makes sense if I can get one. Just plain dumb of me not to get the FM adapter when they were available.

    I've just posted a WTB for an adapter in B/S/T, and if I have no luck with that, I'll certainly do as you suggest.
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    Flashaholic* missionaryman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    HI DM51 - awesome mod this will be, I really like modding older & less common hosts like that one for the huge wow factor they create.
    You can speak to Northern_Lights, he built some ceramic PR-BiPin adapters that he may still have, this is a far better method than a potted 1185 because the potted bulbs are sometimes unreliable and badly centred.

    good luck fitting the reflector - I hope you get it going and I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for the finished product and the beamshots.
    "Let your light shine" - it's the one commandment we all obey...

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Thanks Missionaryman. It's going to be fun doing this.

    I posted a WTB in B/S/T, and as a result one of Fivemega's PR-bipin adapters is now on its way to me, many thanks to jimjones3630. Very good of him to let one of these go.

    The FM reflector is on its way too (making that fit is going to be the trickiest part of this mod).

    I'm also going to get a camera with a manual setting, so I can do 'before' and 'after' beamshots, using exactly the same exposure. The comparison should be very funny - you wouldn't believe how BAD the stock bulb/reflector combo is - the beam really weak, mis-shapen and uneven, with artifacts all over the place. I might just try and get hold of some zinc-carbon D cells, which is what that would have used, not nice Duracell alkalines.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    I'm also going to get a camera with a manual setting, so I can do 'before' and 'after' beamshots, using exactly the same exposure.
    Will the beamshots be underwater ??

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Essexman View Post
    Will the beamshots be underwater ??
    LOL, yes, eventually I will post some underwater ones.

    However, first I will take some before and afters. These will be out of the water. I'm not going diving with this thing unmodified - at the moment it is so dim that if I relied on it at night I would get completely lost lol!
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    With the bore being off centre you may have trouble centreing the bulb in the focal point of the reflector.

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by rufusdufus View Post
    With the bore being off centre you may have trouble centreing the bulb in the focal point of the reflector.
    Good point. The tube is definitely off-center at the tail end, but it looks OK at the business end so I don't think it's a serious problem.

    There will be a very slight angle on it due to the oblique tube boring, but I should be able to adjust the bulb position slightly in the Bi-Pin adapter if I need to. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be OK.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    When I had the torch I was thinking of having an aluminium or copper plug machined, something similar to the existing bulb holder that I could fit a ceramic bi pin socket onto, it would be an easy job to fit the socket eccentrically so that you could centre the bulb perfectly. I had a couple of similar plugs with external threads made to fit old style mag bodies so I know its relatively easy to do, let me know if you want to see some pics.

    I also thought the switch contact could be improved to prevent the sharp contact wearing a groove, my thoughts were to remake the contact in copper sheet with an L shaped end so that the lower flat leg of the L would make the contact, make any sense?

    Sounds like you have it well in hand though. Good luck with it.

    One other thing, the bulb isnt original Im afraid, think its a Mag bulb, the original had a broken filament!

    Best

    Jason
    Last edited by jason_01; 10-24-2007 at 03:41 AM.

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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Woowwwwwwwwww, look at that GLASS lens. I love glass, and that is a lot of it

    Your plan looks solid to me. Go for it dude.. it'll look good next to your spotlight Alternatively, you can pick up potted WA1185s, they surface now and again.

    The first thought that occured to me was "ROP it" but there is room for more than 2 cells. Also, for WA1185, you can use 8AA NiMH and one dummy cell in a 9AA-to-3D carrier if you prefer the safety of NiMH to the allure of li-ion.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Thanks, Kevin. I think I'm covered on the 1185 option, with the PR bi-pin adapter on the way. 8xAA NiMH is a very good idea. What run-time do you think I would get, compared to my guess of ~50 mins from 3x "C" Li-Ions?

    Great excitement: the MOP reflectors have just arrived from Fivemega! Very nice. I tried dropping one in, and surprisingly, it very nearly fits. I say surprisingly, because it is a lot deeper than the stock PAJ reflector. You can se what I mean from these pics – the stock reflector is on the left, the FM MOP one on the right:





    The pics show the difference in depth (apols for the 2nd one being a bit out of focus). The 3rd pic also shows the bulb aperture size difference. The stock bulb is ~10 mm, so it needed that big hole. The WA 1185 is ~6 mm.

    Fortunately, the light head has enough depth to take the FM reflector – it just needs some metal taking off the side near the base, not off the base itself or too near the hole. I’m now going to think about the best way to do this.
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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    AW's C cells, I recall, are 3300mAH?

    NiMh are 2500mAH so take 2500/3300 = roughly 0.75 or 3/4 of the runtime you could expect from those cells. I seem to recall my old Mag85 running on 2100mAH cells could do around 35 minutes.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    I think the light will be well enough sealed for LiIons to be watertight and safe - I'd take the LiIon option over NIMH because the LiIons hold a more even voltage throughout the run time and they are much simpler than messing about with battery carriers.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Thanks KevinL and missionaryman, yes, I think I'll stick with my plan to use AW "C" Li-Ions. The extra run-time will be valuable, and changing cells between dives will be easier too.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The PR bi-pin adapter has arrived. It is a very nice piece (thanks to FM, and especially to jimjones3630). It is ~3 mm bigger diameter than the stock PAJ bulb, as you can see in these pics (WA 1185 already fitted for illustration purposes):







    The bulb holder is a big chunk of steel, and boring it out the extra 3 mm to take the bi-pin adapter will be pretty simple. This will not be an irreversible mod, as the stock bulb will still be usable in the larger hole with a thin steel washer acting as a flange.




    Looking at the +ve bulb contact spring assembly, it doesnt look too special. There is probably some unnecessary resistance there, and I may have to think of some way to improve it.

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    Flashaholic* missionaryman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    probably not too much more resistance than in a Maglite - I'd leave it alone until the light is operational and then measure Bulb voltage and see how much you're loosing. Might be helpful to prevent instaflashing.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    The new reflector had to be machined down slightly to fit inside the head. To recap, here is the head, with the old and new reflectors (the old one is the shallower of the 2).






    It was a very near fit, and not much had to be taken off. Here you can see the result – “before” is on the left, “after” is on the right:





    I have also bored out the bulb holder to take the Bi-pin adapter. Again, “before” is on the left, “after” is on the right:





    The holder can still take the old bulb (or potted 1185s) by using the washer shown in the larger pic, so there is flexibility and the mod is still reversible.






    The next task will be the battery compartment – making a tube for the 3D body to take 3x “C” Li-Ions. Measuring the relative lengths, a 20mm dummy will also be needed.
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    Flashaholic tussery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Very cool. I wish I could find a light like that to run an 1185 in. But my 3D Mag should be adequate and please me.

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    Flashaholic* missionaryman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    it's coming along nicely I'd love to see the results when completed.
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    "ditto" on the above post!
    I can hardly wait to see what your underwater shots look like
    I scuba dived back in the mid 1970's and i really miss it.
    Keep us informed with your progress.

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Ive made a tube out of Acetal (Delrin) bar stock for the 3x C cells to fit the 3D size tube. 32 mm has turned out to be a bit loose - the ID is ~35mm, and it would have been better made out of 36 mm, then milled down a little to fit. Maybe black Delrin instead of white would have been better too, as it wouldnt show all the oil and other marks etc from the machining, lol.





    In the pics you can also see a home-made steel spacer, 26mm dia x 20mm long, which will actually go inside the Delrin tube at the ve (tailcap) end, not the +ve end as in the pic.

    I measured the pressure on the tailcap spring to see how far it compressed to give 10 lbs pressure, which is a safe pressure on the C Li-Ions (I asked AW, and he said 15 lbs was a safe max).

    The spring compressed 1 cm to give 10 lbs, and using dimensions of the tube and the components due to go inside it (cells & bulb holder assembly), this gave me what I hope is the right length for the spacer.
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    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    DM51, dang, that is one heck of a light!

    Any idea where I might find one? Looks like a GREAT platform for modding. Me wants, me wants!
    --Scott

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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    Quote Originally Posted by milkyspit View Post
    DM51, dang, that is one heck of a light!

    Any idea where I might find one? Looks like a GREAT platform for modding. Me wants, me wants!
    Lol, I have people out scouring the dockyards as I write, searching for more of them. I'll let you know if I have any luck!
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    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Navy Dive Light

    +1 for me please!!!!


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