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Thread: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

  1. #1

    Default MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I must admit I have been an led guy historically. That said, now that I'm rocking an ROP my opinion of incans has been radically revised.
    I work as a golf cart driver at night on a sprawling college campus, and want a light capable of delivering the intensity of my ROP (with kaidomain SMO) at 150 yards, but with a beam covering much more at that distance. This is probably more for my entertainment at this point, but I do feel obliged to check out any dark areas. I would like this light to deliver 3k or greater lumens. Its run time would need to be 15 minutes to be useful, but a half hour would mean charging every other day.
    My budget dictates that this stay around 100$, however I would like to have a suitable platform for future upgrading.
    Current plan is:
    -Maglite 6D or 5D. At this point size isn't an issue, so I'm inclined towards a 6D so I can still have a spring.
    -5 x 26650 IMR
    -MR16 35 or 50W IRC 10 degree
    -Chopped switch hardwired to bulb. Head locked from accidental twisting by a dab of epoxy inside. Or a DIY bipin>pr adaptor.
    -2 lenses
    -PVC sleeve

    The MR16 option is appealing because from what I have gathered, they are less likely to poof without soft start. In addition to the cost, it doesn't appear as if the no-modes switch is still available. My main qualm is that I haven't found any data such as that produced by Luxluther. Could I expect similar output from bulbs of comparable description such as these?
    http://www.bulbamerica.com/light-bul...ight-bulb.html
    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h75/pike444/bulbs/64432-IRC35W.jpg

    Those who have described this mod seem to be pleased with the results, but it almost seems too easy and inexpensive to be true. If anyone out there has personal experience from which to vouch (or beamshots ) for the worthiness of MR16s it would be excellent! Any other options fitting the bill that I have overlooked would also be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    James

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I did a MR16 maglite - 12V50W bulb with the tightest beam I could find.
    Running on 12x AA cells in a 3D maglite

    It worked - but wasn't "shockingly" bright - which I wanted
    I returned the light back to stock (my grandparents bought it for me years ago - so it has some sentimental value)
    flashlight collector by day
    flashlight user by night

  3. #3

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Thanks for the reply Echo, what AA cells did you use?
    What I'm gathering so far is that this mod definitely leaves something to be desired when powered by 12AA or 4 li-ion.

    12cells x 1.25v = 15v = 1813 bulb lumens*
    4 cells x 3.75 = 15v
    5 cells x 3.75 = 18.75v = ~3300*

    *66432-IRC35W


    I'm probably just going to have to do some experimentation. The lack of popularity may be telling, but what the worst that can happen? I end up with a bunch of great cells for future projects.

    now I just need my tax return

  4. #4

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    it has been done many times, i build at least 5 of those with different bulbs and cells, from nimh AA to li ion 26650, imo, the best combo is 5 26650 cells, or 26500, smaller cells (26500) can supply more current, but they have smaller capacity, if you go over 50w bulb you might wanna change switch i wouldn't rely on stock switch for high current.
    . for 20w bulb you can get FM g6,3 socket. you wont have to cut\solder the tower, if you go with a bulb higher than 20W i recomend cutting off switch tower and solder wires to the switch directly, since there will be lots of heat, and plastic parts aren't exactly fit for that.
    Last edited by alpg88; 04-30-2012 at 09:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiralgrey View Post
    Thanks for the reply Echo, what AA cells did you use?
    What I'm gathering so far is that this mod definitely leaves something to be desired when powered by 12AA or 4 li-ion.

    12cells x 1.25v = 15v = 1813 bulb lumens*
    4 cells x 3.75 = 15v
    5 cells x 3.75 = 18.75v = ~3300*

    *66432-IRC35W


    I'm probably just going to have to do some experimentation. The lack of popularity may be telling, but what the worst that can happen? I end up with a bunch of great cells for future projects.

    now I just need my tax return
    Normal energizer 2150mah cells (I got a bunch really cheap - part of the reason I did the mod)
    They sagged pretty badly under the load, and the output was a pretty yellow colour (instead of the nice white of a properly driven P60)
    flashlight collector by day
    flashlight user by night

  6. #6
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I have a 5D mag using the set up you describe, except it uses a 75W 12 degree spot MR16. It blew me away the first time I fired it up. Run time is 15-20 minutes using 5 26650's, but I won't run it longer than 10 minutes continuous because of the heat. There is a judco switch installed inside the chopped off switch housing and a kiu high temp socket kit on top as seen here. Fivemega also sells his own version of the high temp socket, I think. If your MR16 has a front glass, additional lenses are unnecessary. The lamp in your link looks well suited to the mod. It has a front glass and is a long life bulb (> 2000 hours) which means it can most likely be over driven (By five Li-Ions) without flashing. I have never flashed a MR16 bulb rated for 3000 hours or more using five 3.7V Li-Ion 26650's. So you won't need a soft start or hotwire regulator. No one I have ever shown it to can believe the enormous amount of light that it puts out! Sure there are more elegant builds than this meat & potatoes blaster, but the brute force MR16 mag mod is an excellent choice. It is what got me started modding flashlights, thanks to advice from alpg88, Justincase and others. Happy modding Admiralgrey!

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I put 4 18500 IMR cells from Wal Mart in a metal pipe with a 50W MR16 bulb. That was fun. Mine was quite floody. Have you tried a Stanley HID spotlight? That will CERTAINLY light up what you are trying to see.

    Edit: LiFePO4s from a solar light.
    Last edited by AnAppleSnail; 05-01-2012 at 06:47 AM.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  8. #8

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    walmart sells imr cells??????

  9. #9

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Thanks for the great replies everyone!
    Quest4Fire; the Kiu socket is exactly what I was looking for!
    Adding a judco would be groovey. How are you keeping the switch assembly in place and grounding it? External set screw into the Kiu base?

    I like the idea of being able to swap out bulb assemblies for different power/focus while still having an incredibly simple light once in use.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic Bogie's Avatar
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I had assembled one of these years back when I first saw a MR16 12V bulb but was never able to come up with a feasible power source in the 12-14V range. Since finding CPF I have done more Mag Mods using LED's but what would be the optimum battery solution for this setup in a 3D Mag
    SF 6P/G2/E2e/E2d/E2DL/E1e/L2/A2-PP(R)/A2(G)/L1(R)/L1(G)/M95/KL4(x2)/KL4(Blk)
    Gladius,Inova X5(R),Microlight(G)
    Costco/HF HID

  11. #11

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogie View Post
    I had assembled one of these years back when I first saw a MR16 12V bulb but was never able to come up with a feasible power source in the 12-14V range. Since finding CPF I have done more Mag Mods using LED's but what would be the optimum battery solution for this setup in a 3D Mag
    to get mr16 to really shine you need at least li ion 4 cells, best is 5 li ion cells.
    4x 26500 will fit in 3d as well, that will be the best set up that 3d tube allows,

  12. #12
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    How are you keeping the switch assembly in place and grounding it? External set screw into the Kiu base?
    Yes! I just finished a 6D mag for my brother. I drilled a hole through the mag body at the level of the kiu aluminum cap, took one wire from the ceramic socket to the hole. I used a steel self tapping screw with copper tape around the threads to create that end of the circuit ( I've had aluminum screws break off in the mag body before and had to drill them out, what a mess!) For a while it seemed kiu sockets were unavailable. I'm not sure if he's selling again or not, but if you can't find any, Fivemega has a sales thread here that should get you squared away.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I had considered building one of these but opted for the flexibility of a bi-pin bulb configuration instead, the KIU socket/modded mag switch is sufficient for the job unless you've using more than a 50w bulb, 14AA cells in a 4D carrier was an excellent alternative to Li-Ion D sized cells...
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  14. #14

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Tax return has arrived and the beast has been assembled!
    First turning it on left me giggling hysterically. The 10 degree spot delivers a wider beam than I had anticipated, but that's completely OK because of its sheer power. 100 yard megalumination, no problem.

    So currently the 5 IMR 26650 are powering a 37watt IR collection MR16. I measured 3.74 amps at the tail-cap, so this torch should have an hour max run time.
    I avoided buying a socket for now on the basis of two reasons. 1) $$$ 2) wanting to DIY everything. My "socket" consists of some brass tube crimped on the wires, JB welded to prevent shorting, and crimped onto the pins. Plans for improved heat shielding for the switch are underway. I've got a 50watt bulb which I will pop in after more extensive testing and a switch replacement.











    Unfortunately I'm missing the most important part of this post.... I'll be back tonight with some beam shots!

  15. #15

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Capturing a good photo of this beast proved a little tricky. The spill is so bright that the camera doesn't pick up anything in the background. I will try again when I have access to a better camera. The reflector doesn't make very efficient use of the light at long range.
    I got bold and put in the 50watt last night. I don't hear any arcing when I turn it on. Used in minute or two bursts the setup seems to be adequate. My ROP is more intense at 100+ yards, but the MR16 provides the great coverage I desired.
    My expectations have been thoroughly met for this project in terms of performance; Its a simple big lumens bruiser for briefly flashing around. Its name is "Gorgothon"

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Good work on the Gorgothon Admiralgrey. If I were you I would get one of these . That way, if you flash your bulb, or want to try different varieties of MR16's, it takes only seconds to change out. That is the beauty and flexibility of this set up.

  17. #17

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    I'm back with some beamshots! Taken courtesy of a buddies Iphone... Not bad for a cell phone! Color and spill aren't represented that well, but the pictures give a good comparison of the size and intensity of the hot spots.

    ROP 3854H


    Zebralight SC600 "turbo"


    50W IR MR16 Mag


    In person the MR16 is a wall of light. Being a rather shallow reflector, the spill angle is very wide. When sitting on a cart this can be blinding when reflected from the canopy and supports, so I devised a protective bezel that also limits the spill. There are two upturned loops on a plane perpendicular to the switch. The larger loop acts as a quick index for finding the switch when my right pinky comes to rest on it. The smaller loop indexes for my left hand.



    Flagship


    I have also included a heat shield that doubles to snug the bulb unit up against the front glass. Its cut from the bottom of a 24oz beer can to sit on the shelf in the mag head. A hole was filed to fit the rectangular stem of the MR16 where it meets the reflector. Since adding this I have noticed that the tube heats slower in relation to the head than before. So far this setup has proven itself to 4 minutes at which point the head becomes uncomfortable to hold.
    Last edited by Admiralgrey; 06-18-2012 at 03:46 AM. Reason: them grammers

  18. #18
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Wowzers! That is an interesting wire cage you constructed. That is a lot of bending to get just right huh? Is that a Turk's head weave? I imagine it's good to have when things start to heat up!

  19. #19

    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Quest4fire,
    That is indeed a turk's head. 4 lead 6 bight I think. They stay in place well on the knurling, but can be adjusted with some effort. You can even slide them off and onto another light!
    I have obtained and installed one of the sockets you mentioned, which makes swapping bulbs a breeze. I also slipped some pieces of fire proof wire wrap over the leads.
    While installing the socket I noticed that the switch contacts had undergone some serious pitting. Looks like maglite switches aren't a long term proposition with 5 amps. I suppose using the switch in momentary exacerbates the issue, as the pitting is on the bottom of the contact ring. Once engaged its OK.
    That said, A KUI and rocker switch will be much more sensible in this setup.
    Also, since MR16s have their own lens I have ceased using an additional one so that output isn't sacrificed. It is still tentioned against the bezel by the beer can bottom.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: MR16 Maglite; applicable?

    Quest4fire,
    That is indeed a turk's head. 4 lead 6 bight I think. They stay in place well on the knurling, but can be adjusted with some effort. You can even slide them off and onto another light!
    I have obtained and installed one of the sockets you mentioned, which makes swapping bulbs a breeze. I also slipped some pieces of fire proof wire wrap over the leads.
    While installing the socket I noticed that the switch contacts had undergone some serious pitting. Looks like maglite switches aren't a long term proposition with 5 amps. I suppose using the switch in momentary exacerbates the issue, as the pitting is on the bottom of the contact ring. Once engaged its OK.
    That said, A KUI and rocker switch will be much more sensible in this setup.
    Also, since MR16s have their own lens I have ceased using an additional one so that output isn't sacrificed. It is still tentioned against the bezel by the beer can bottom.
    I hear you. I ran my first 75W MR16, powered by five 26650 IMR's, for 15-20 minutes just to see how much of the 5D mag would be affected by the heat. On a fresh charge that set up pulls a little over 7 amps at the tailcap initially. The stock switch stuck in the on position and I had to carefully unscrew the tailcap to break the circuit. The switch worked again when it cooled off but it was clear a higher current switch was needed. The judco switch seemed a good choice so that is the way I went, but others have used round or square flanged rocker switches with good results, functionally and aesthetically.

    As far as high temp sockets go, Fivemega is having a 30% off sale which ends 11:59 Pacific time July 4th (Hurry!) and this looks like a nice one! Careful, you might wind up with more than you intended to. He does beautiful work.

    ***EDIT*** Just saw this in custom and modified flashlights buy/sell/trade.




    I noticed the turk's head because I've made a couple of turk's head lanyards and key fobs out of paracord. Not too many though, they are time consuming and there are other knots that look just as cool but require less time. All that tightening and taking up slack. Ugh! Nice work!
    Last edited by Quest4fire; 07-02-2012 at 01:40 PM.

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