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Thread: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

  1. #1

    Sssh Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Hello all,

    I am new to candlepower forums so I am sorry if this question has been asked before:

    I was lucky enough to find two D cell MagLite torches in my place of work recently. One was a 3 cell, the other a 4 cell.

    They had obviously been left for some time as both had batteries corroded and stuck inside them. After cleaning them out I managed to get one up and running but it given me a bit of a bug for doing them up.

    I would really like to make them both LED torches and wanted something really bright with a very focussed beam, rather than a wide spread beam.
    I should add that my budget is tight, so I don't want to be spending loads on this project.

    Can anyone recommend a good upgrade and give step by step guide to what bits I need?

    I also quite like the idea of making them both fully submergible.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...5-Mag-XM-L-Mod

    This is what I am doing. You can pick XM-L LEDs for around $8.50 + postage: http://www.lck-led.com/p853/Cree-XLa...duct_info.html
    A good driver that would work with either the 3D (4.5V) or the 4D (6V) from the same store: http://www.lck-led.com/p501/Constant...duct_info.html

    But you'll need the heat sink as well - the P7 Flat Top in size D: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...sinks-********

    Keep in mind the LED I linked above is slightly too big for the heatsink - you need to thermal paste it on and then sand the LEDs PCB down a bit. Or you could find somewhere selling the XM-L on a 14mm board.

    As for water proofing...no idea but I'd imagine it'd be pretty hard to do and almost not worth it. Looking at them stock they appear to be water resistant, but not submersible.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* LilKevin715's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Hi Jonny

    What kind of budget are you working with? If its around $20 or less then a dropin might be a good start for you without too much work/effort involved. If its more than that you can go the DIY route if you are comfortable with tinkering, soldering, etc. There is a wealth of information here on CPF, please use the search function of the forum to your advantage.

    As for being submersible... probably not the best idea, you can find more info by searching the forums.
    My Mag Mods: SST-50 , XM-L

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the replies. Having had a look at the suggested mod and a little search of the forum I think I't best I start with a drop in for the mag lite I've got working at the moment. The other one needs a new switch, battery spring and rubber switch cover.

    Can either of you recommend the best drop in for a 3D cell mag?

    I'll look to mod the 4D cell one next month. My budget is gonna be about £30 (GBP). Might stretch to £40 if the result is worth it.

    All suggestions welcome!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* tx101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    You based in the UK ?


    What kind of Mag Ds are they ? Do they have the letter "D" at the front of the
    serial number ?
    How badly corroded are they ?

    Might be able to help out

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LilKevin715's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    The Terralux TLE-6EXB would probably be a good start for you. It isn't too expensive, decent output (around 100 OTF lumens), and easy to install. Please note that there are two versions: The 6EX is for 4-6 cells and the 6EXB is for 2-3 cells. I don't know where to purchase them in the UK, but I am sure you should be able to find them.

    What kind of Mag Ds are they ? Do they have the letter "D" at the front of the
    serial number ?
    I'm pretty sure he has the older incan version as he stated that he wanted to upgrade them to LED's.
    My Mag Mods: SST-50 , XM-L

  7. #7
    Unenlightened Havenot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Been using a terralux tle-6exb in a 3d mag with 4 c cells alkalines with spring mod and battery sleeve its got a good looking beam. drop in is listed as 2 or 3 cell not sure how the extra voltage will effect lifespan of drop in but it runs strong now plus only paid $16 at amazon so not a huge loss if it meets a early demise gotta say this set up works quite well

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by tx101 View Post
    You based in the UK ?


    What kind of Mag Ds are they ? Do they have the letter "D" at the front of the
    serial number ?
    How badly corroded are they ?

    Might be able to help out
    Yeah I'm UK based. The corrosion isn't bad at all. (Since my initial post I've managed to get both of them back up to factory working order) And they have the letter D at the start of the serial on both of them.

    I did make a mistake in my initial post though, one is a 2 D-Cell and the other is a 3 D-Cell, not 3 D-Cell and 4 D-Cell as I initially thought.

    I've put a UV showerhead drop-in into the 3 D-Cell Mag for my girlfriend (she's a CSI) and it works a treat, but I really want to pimp out the 2 D-Cell model and make it really powerful.

    Ideally I want to get a very bright focussed beam rather than a wide spread of light. I know there's terms for these types of things (throw etc) but I haven't quite got to grips with all the tech speak round torch modding, for example I have no idea what people are talking about when they ask what the draw at the tail cap is!

    I was looking at Mattaus' post and thinking of doing that but I don't know if it would work for a 2 D-Cell flashlight, or if I would get the results I want. I might even up my budget a little if I can get good results.

    Any help welcome.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    I did pretty much the same thing as mattaus save that is used 6xAA batteries instead of 3xCs.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ed-to-6AA-XM-L
    It seemed like a pretty easy mod to me. The main difficulty/worry with mine was doing the battery carriers.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by yazovyet View Post
    I did pretty much the same thing as mattaus save that is used 6xAA batteries instead of 3xCs.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ed-to-6AA-XM-L
    It seemed like a pretty easy mod to me. The main difficulty/worry with mine was doing the battery carriers.
    I really like what you did with this. How much did this mod cost in all?

    Would there be any advantage of using a custom rechargeable Lithium ION battery pack? Is this a simple thing to make/buy?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    If I was to do it again I would use a different emitter, the T6 is a litte more odd coloured than I would like.

    costs, lets see:
    20 for the heatsink (minimum shipping)
    6 or 7 for the driver
    11 ish for the led
    4 or so for the battery carriers
    2 or 3 for shipping of some things
    for a total of 43 plus batteries and host.

    I don't know too much about LiIons. I know they give about 3.6 or 3.7 volts (which is idea for that driver/LED combination) per battery so with that driver you don't want to have 2 or more in serise. I think I recall hearing it was bad to put 2 LiIons in paralle but I'm not sure about it. I have NiMh AAs for other stuff and an AA charger so thats why I went with AAs. I guess with LiIOns you might get a light run time if you got the right set up but some one else will have to help you with that.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by yazovyet View Post
    If I was to do it again I would use a different emitter, the T6 is a litte more odd coloured than I would like.

    costs, lets see:
    20 for the heatsink (minimum shipping)
    6 or 7 for the driver
    11 ish for the led
    4 or so for the battery carriers
    2 or 3 for shipping of some things
    for a total of 43 plus batteries and host.

    I don't know too much about LiIons. I know they give about 3.6 or 3.7 volts (which is idea for that driver/LED combination) per battery so with that driver you don't want to have 2 or more in serise. I think I recall hearing it was bad to put 2 LiIons in paralle but I'm not sure about it. I have NiMh AAs for other stuff and an AA charger so thats why I went with AAs. I guess with LiIOns you might get a light run time if you got the right set up but some one else will have to help you with that.
    Thanks for the advice and the walk-through link. I don't think it's too difficult for my first mod. I'm going to give it a go.

    You say you'd use a different emitter ifyou did it again? Do you know which one you'd go for? WHat is it about the colour you don't like?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best MagLite D Cell LED upgrade?

    If I was to order from shinnigng beam I'd get their Cree XM-L T5 neutral white premium 4B tint emitter (and have to shave teh 16mm star down to 14.5mm with a file), if I was to order from ilimination supply I'd get aCree XM-L, 14mm Round MCPCB, T5, 3C (5000K) tint (or maybe the 10 mm star?), if I was ordering from cutter I'd have to look through alot of leds and likly end up setteling on one similar to those other 2 above. But I don't think I'd pay and extra 13 dollars in shipping to make a special order for one of these if i was already buying stuff from a place that sold only T6s.

    why? imagine your led puts out light that is the colour of one of those boxs, see that none of those are really white. the best ones are in the middle of that arc and are fairly white.
    http://imageshack.us/f/199/ansiwhite.jpg/
    my T6 is (I think) a 1a (thats on the left) and those 2 above are 3c and 4b. So they put out a more yellowy light that seems more like a normal light bulb or a bright fire but they also put out a little bit less light overall too.
    So long story short, the light from the T6 seems a little unnatural and I would give up a bit over overall output to get it a little more natural.

    btw, that chart came from:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...lar-White-LEDs

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