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Thread: Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

  1. #1

    Default Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

    It's a fairly clunky 3 nimh cell xenon light with an integral hand-cranked charging system. It suffers from some rather perverse design decisions (non-removable batteries, and, my god, xenon and not LED?) but looks like it might make rather a good base for a backup light for a cabin or some other out-of-the-way spot.

    It's a real shame the didn't make a better job of this. If it was waterproof, had removable batteries, so it could be used to chaarge other cells, or fitted with fresh ones, and an LED-based lamp, I think it would be the ultimate paranoia light.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

    The same light is more available in the US as the Coleman Sentinel....on Ebay all the time for 30 bucks or so. They're actually not that easy to wind; it has to be done at exactly the right speed to maximally charge the battery, but the output is a lot better than a Nightrider.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* B@rt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Land of Tulips and Philips

    Default Re: Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

    Welcome to CPF Muppet. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Quickbeam has a review of a modded Coleman on his site. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    Coleman Sentinel mod

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

    Hey, thanks guys. You'll be seeing rather a lot of me, I shouldn't wonder ;-)

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)

    Default Re: Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

    Freeplay has produced several different lights. Mine is the size of a handheld lantern, clear plastic and has an LED and Xenon bulb. A pair of nimh batteries appear to be in there.

    My freeplay uses a crank to wind a spring that turns a generator. The generator then powers the lights. Now that you mention it, a little surgery would make the batteries removable and transform the Xenon into an LS. Hmmmmm.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Perth, Western Australia

    Default Re: Mod candidate - freeplay handcrank light.

    Daniel: You appear to have the older version of the FreePlay light. I think that's the 2020. FreePlay, in all its wisdom, decided to get rid of the spring. On the plus side, the flashlights are smaller, but that means that the user needs to learn how to turn the crank at an even speed, a job that the spring did very well. The makers also mentioned that the new lights have a better generator in it so that it takes less time to charge.

    All in all, I still think they never really thought out the design that well.

    5mm LEDs as a secondary light source for close area lighting to a brighter source that can be focused for long throw (LS or xenon, whichever works), coupled to NiMH cells charged by an efficient generator, with a port to accept a DC jack. The spring driver will take up some space, so only the bigger lights can have it. And the bigger lights could have C-sized cells. Afterall, there is plenty of room. Smaller models will have to be directly cranked and use AA or AAA sized cells. And a small solar panel might not be remiss, though not quite necessary. Waterproofing will be next to impossible with so many moving parts, but rain-proofing is needed.

    What's frustrating is that these design improvements are quite obvious and would not be beyond the company's ability. Afterall, most of the suggestions have been done before, just not on the same model of light.

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