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Thread: MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

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  1. #1

    Default MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

    This post was returned to the thread on 2/8/06.

    Hi,
    With the recent interest in the MagCharger and associated mods, I thought it might be useful to document some of the possible configurations. Comparisons are made to some common lithium mods involving Welch Allyn bulbs as well as Aurora, my prototype 12V 3D platform. So, since there are a bunch of pictures, let's let them do the talking. All pictures taken with the Sony DCR-PC120BT in digipic mode with locked focus and exposure. All rechargeable packs freshly charged and rested 15 minutes. Bulbs stabilized for 15 seconds before capture. All torches focused to tightest beam. I'd like to acknowledge Darkgear.com for providing the MC used in these tests.

    Set 1: Popular Lithium Mods Using Welch Allyn Bulbs
    The WA01318 is a very nice 9.6V bulb that is quite bright when running on 4.5 lithiums. This is my shorthand for 4xSF123+1AA lith. Unfortunately, the batteries are not quite fresh but I was out of SF123s. The WA01274 is a bright 7.2V bulb which handles a decent push. Its 2.77A draw pulls down 4x123 to a tolerable voltage. The WA01318 is marginally brighter.


    Set 2: Stock MagCharger versus the Popular MC60 Mod
    Here we see the stock MC setup on the right. It is actually not a bad rig. The bulb is almost certainly a Welch Allyn unit. The specs resemble the WA01116 but it is much brighter than that. I suspect that this is a custom unit that is designed to give decent runtime (only a 1.4A draw) by sacrificing bulb life (only 50-ish hours). The filament is small and delicate and is most likely intolerant of even slight overdrive. On the plus side, it casts a reasonably tight spot with moderate lobing or batwing on the periphery of the central hotspot. The MC60 (here, WA01160 driven by nimh 1/2Ds but without a Flashlightlens UCL) is significantly brighter with more useful spill. The downside is that the larger filament results in more prominent lobing of the secondary hotspot. It's not hard to see why this is the best inexpensive and easy mod for your MC.


    Set 3: Specialty MagCharger Mods
    Here we have two mods which are most likely going to have less appeal to the general populace than the MC60 or MC11(WA01111 on 5x1/2D). For one, they both require special battery packs that sacrifice some runtime for voltage and one will probably will not charge on the stock cradle.

    The MC11+ is on the left. It uses the same WA01111 bulb that can be used with the standard 5-cell packs but in this case I'm driving it with 6 x 4/5 sub-C cells. It is clearly brighter than even the potent MC60. However, the 1.7Ah cells provide only about 30 minutes of runtime. Still, very bright and will charge on the stock charger as long as special precautions are taken.

    The MC85 is on the right. This consists of the 9.6V WA01185 driven by 9xAA nimh. This bulb is bright and surpassed only by the MoMag which uses 10xAA nimh. However, the large filament results in significant lobing. This bulb just throws light though. Lot's of it. You'll see this and the MC11+ packs at the end of this post.


    Set 4: Emergent MagCharger Mod versus Aurora
    Here we see two mods that are not currently available. On left is the Aurora torch in its long runtime setup. It uses a 12V50W bulb that outputs over 1,300 lumens for a little over 20 minutes. Very bright, good spot with massive amounts of spill. On the right is the MagCharger X-Bulb setup. It compares favorably with the Aurora LOLA. How about that? And it'll run on a 5-cell stick. Not the stock battery stick, but the UMP stick. Also, some internal modifications need to be done to make this work. I'll stop there and see if any sharp-eyes can tell what's special about the X-bulb besides its brightness.


    In closing, Here are two pics that you might find interesting. The picture on the left is evidence of what happens when you try to remove a hot bulb using a paper towel. Looks sorta like a cigarette burn. The picture on the right shows my two ghetto battery sticks. The top is a 9-pack of AA soldered together using parts of two 3-D V1 holders hacked for the positive and negative contact pads. A copper disc is soldered on the bottom to make the negative pad. The stick on the bottom shows what needs to be done to pad the narrower sub-C cells so they'll fit in the D-body. Other than that, straightforward.


    So there you have it. Enjoy!

    Wilkey
    Last edited by Ginseng; 02-08-2006 at 06:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* yclo's Avatar
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    Default Re: MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

    Very cool!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

    Terrific post, Ginseng. Can you tell us more about the X bulb and what modifications you did to the MC? You say it compares favorably to the Aurora, but the pic doesn't look that way to me. Maybe my eyes aren't too sharp!

    You realize, of course, that after this thread another group buy will be necessary. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Default Re: MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

    Since the X-bulb is not quite ready for prime time yet, I'm hesitant to disclose more right at this time. Also, in modding the MC to handle it, I somehow disabled the cradle charging capability. The mod is not elementary and requires disassembly and some metalwork. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon23.gif[/img] The cradle puts out the volts but the light doesn't take them. Good thing I have a standalone charger. No worries though, I've got a spanner coming and in a few days I should have it back up and running normally again.

    I say it compares to the Aurora in terms of general light quality and...well, no one has picked out the other key point. As for sheer brightness of hotspot, the WA01111 and WA01185 reign, however. For an idea of what I'm talking about, look at the reflection on the floor of the 3-tiered plate holder.

    Wilkey

  5. #5
    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

    [wild guess] Does the X-bulb have a smaller filament creating a smaller hotspot with less spill? It does look slightly weaker than the Aurora "stock" bulb. More light-sabre characteristics compared to the Aurora ? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] [/wild guess]

    Ginseng, as always an excellent post&summary of what can be done with a noticealbe positive result&success. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: MagCharger Mods: Batteries, Bulbs and Pictures

    Ginseng, does the 9AA pack charge internally in the MC? Would I be able to recreate your work using 3 V2 3toD holders and a 1185?

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