Change reflector and lens only if you can see physical damage, I would presume this is very unlikely for the reflector.
Take the head off, does the lamp inside look dark, smokey or silvery mirrored? If so try swapping the lamp, cheap fix if it works.
If that doesn't work the electrical path may have a high resistance. This is going to more difficult to fix. Repeatedly removing and inserting the OLD lamp may clean these contacts. Then check the batteries contact. Is the spring compressed too much.
Also even though the batteries may be unused, check them in another light, are they really bright in the other light?
And lastly, most mini-mags I've owned started to get yellowish after an hour of use. Are you sure your just so accustom to seeing a brilliant white beam, you've forgotten how a mini-mag is nothing better than just fair?
Dukester did ask a question hoping for enough respect and consideration to get a helpful response. Answers indicating your hostility and emotional feelings toward Maglite aren't helpful. I would think emotional maturity would involve being able to permit someone to talk of their choices in lights without being assaulted with snide remarks.
I have found that the bulb only looks white for an hour or so on the first set of batteries, and the older bulb always look yellow, even with lithium AAs. Try replacing the bulb and the batteries and see if that helps.
All the M@g bulbs look yellow unless they are new with a fresh set of batteries, or you are overdriving them.
As someone else on this forum suggested, the Krypton bulb from radio shack works well on the minimag. I tried it and it made a noticible difference. Much brighter in a side by side comparison with a stock minimag. Still on the yellow side but much whiter than the stock bulb. Cheap upgrade at least (approx. $2.00 I think).
I'm really not trying to make any snide or hostile remarks, but every AA minimag I've ever seen has had a yellow tinge to the beam. In fact, I just opened two brand new ones and put brand new batts in them and it was still yellow. Am I just unlucky? I would say that I'm probably just spoiled by all the high quality lights I have now, but I've always noticed the yellow tinge even before joining CPF.
I've found that dirt/corrosion continually makes the output weaken. Every so often, I have to take the entire light apart and clean everything. Take the tailcap off and the spring and wipe all threads clean as well as the spring and its seat. Then I wipe these with Caig Deoxit contact cleaner. Also remove the lamp socket assembly by prying off the upper socket (the inner part drops into the battery compartment), clean the lamp socket metal contacts and the inner contact lip of the battery tube. I use a Q-tip cotton swab and Caig Deoxit. A little silicone grease on the head threads and O rings and you should be good to go. I don't think silicone grease is the best on electrical contact threads (tailcap) since it's an insulator. Surefire apparently uses a Nye brand grease that's partially conductive.
[ QUOTE ] Dukester said:
I took my MiniMag apart and did notice two things. One being the bulb was slightly fogged up. The second thing I noticed the lens was marred with age. The reflector looked fine!
What bulb comes stock with the MiniMag, I thought that they were halogen? I also would be interested in the bulb from Radio Shack.
[/ QUOTE ]
I also noticed a yellow beam and a graying bulb in my old MiniMag. Swapping to the unused replacement bulb in the tailcap improved the beam color, but using a Brinkmann Nexstar bulb helped even more (although the battery life takes a huge nosedive, I understand.)
I beleive I've heard it said that the standard MiniMag bulb is actually a vacuum bulb - not a halogen, krypton, or any other gas-filled bulb. If that's true, it might explain the problem, since vacuum bulbs do tend to "fog up" as the filament material evaporates and is deposited on the inside of the bulb.
It's such a pity. A xenon bulb and a textured reflector could make the sturdy, time-tested MiniMag a lot more competitive, performance wise, with modern designs. Come on Mag, you can do this!
Personally, I would get an Opalec NewBeam. A very bright regulated 3 LED module that replaces the weak stock bulb. Costs around $25 and you get full brightness for approx. 8-10 hours. The other suggestions, while cheaper, really don't compare to the NewBeam. This will make you actually WANT to use that MiniMag again. It even comes with a new lens.
I have two Newbeam conversions, both used in new MM's and both worth their weight in gold. Opalec has managed to provide the MM with a new lease of life and prolong the life expectancy of the AA Mag.
I have loads of lights including KL1's but seem to prefer the Opalec for most duties around the house and when walking the dog. In fact I would go so far as to say that for most normal lighting tasks the AA MM is one of the best lights out there.
I forgot to add that I'd already got a glass lens from flashlightlens. BTW the guy who runs flashlight lens is great to deal with. The mail service from the time of order to delivery was only 5 days. (quite a feat considering the distance from the States to 'ol blighty'.
I agree...I have E2E/KL1 but still love the light from the NewBeam. It's just right, not blinding if you have to look at a document/map.
My wife uses mine to go to the loo at night, rather than turning the lights on. My eight year old daughter has one in her purple mini mag.
I had good dealings with Yamaguchi's Sandwich Shoppe for BadBoy conversions, krolls and mineral glass lenses. They too get them to you in less than a week.
The first minimag I used 20 or so years ago I was very pleased with. After several years of not much use but enough to be running on new bulbs, the performance was very poor. I always replaced with minimag brand bulbs. One day I was in kmart and saw the ray-o-vac aa pin replacement bulbs, (they didn't say what flashlight they were for)and they said they were 200% brighter or something like that(probably halogen). I tried them and my minimag was bright as a new one, but please notice they were not any brighter than a new minimag, just the same. I figured that the stores must have the option of buying original (halogen?)or vacum bulbs both being the mag brand, and choose to sell the cheaper bulbs. The minimag brand bulbs never said anything about being bright, or being "original equipment", just that they were replacement bulbs for the minimag. You don't have to be a flashoholic to see the difference is very significant. So many people are useing minimags with performance worse than new. I haven't looked at the mag brand bulbs for a few years now so this may have changed. They are still pathetic in comparison to the modern lights we use nowdays.