When I was very, very young, my parents gave me an old Army flashlight, made ~1963. It was, I'm pretty sure, the first light I ever owned. On a visit this past summer, I was asked by my mother to go through the bicycles that came out of the tool shed my parents had removed, and identify which I wanted to keep for my own children and which she could give away. (In my youth, I was as big a bicycle nut as I am a flashlight nut now, and had a collection of at least 5 bicycles that I kept in rotation.) Before I could even begin to get nostalgic about seeing my main/favorite bike for the first time in ~20 years, I spotted that old flashlight. It was an Army Green, 2 D-cell, L-shaped light. Ther were probably millions made - a real dime-a-dozen... but not to me. To me, it was the one that gave way to a fascination that lay dormant in me for several decades and then lit up like wildfire. It sat on my shelf for several months until today, when it visited my workbench for some updating...
The 2-cell bulb, reflector, and plastic lens have been replaced with a glass lens and homemade light engine utilizing a 4000K high CRI CREE XP-G and MOP Aluminum reflector:
The LED is driven by two DX 25505 boost drivers wired to run in parallel and modified by adding R100 sense resistors to each of them to boost output current. Total output on fresh Alkalines or NiMH cells is ~1.8A to the LED. Current draw at the tail can be as high as 4.1A on NiMH and nearly that on fresh D primaries.
As long as it's being modernized, I thought I'd add some glow (rings that is):
And to demonstrate the success, here are the requisite beamshots...
First, with the flash enabled to demonstrate the warm tint of the LED (vs. the cold strobe of the flash):
And without flash:
With the exception of an old 6V lantern, whose battery just won't die, this will be the only other light I keep Alkaline batteries in, mainly out of nostalgia.
I'm sorry I didn't take before and after beamshots after cleaning up the switch with 2-26 contact cleaner but before modding the rest. When I first turned it on after I cleaned the switch, I didn't think it was working until I turned it around and looked directly at the bulb. Kestrel was kind enough to provide this reference beamshot, which you can imagine as a before-shot (although I don't think this light was working even quite that well.):