Foxfury Rook
Results 1 to 30 of 31

Thread: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Default MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    I need some advice on my first flashlight mod.

    I have a MagCharger that I want to modify to the Mag85 configuration. I think I understand what's involved with that from reading threads here. I have a lot of questions, however. I appreciate your patience in reading this thread, and covet any wisdom you can offer me. Thanks in advance for you knowledge!

    Let me tell you what I'm shooting for performance-wise: I'm looking for a poor man's M6. I don't need a light that has bragging rights on the M6 or that claims to "blow away anything else." I have no desire to delude myself laughing at the "poor fools" who bought a SureFire. I love the performance of the M6, and I know I can't afford one. I just want to approach that performance as best I can in a relatively inexpensive mod. So, I'm looking for a form factor, output, beam, and throw that are as much like the M6 as I can achieve in my compromise platform.

    I really want to base my mod on the Mag Charger because the grab-n-go charging ability would be a huge benefit to me. I enjoy fiddling with batteries and chargers and I have been accused of taking my flashlights apart too often...but I want to be able to grab this fully-charged light at a moment's notice.

    I'm left with the following questions:

    -If I cut the MagCharger down to 2D length, can I run a Mag85 on an 8AA/2D adaptor?

    I have seen posts by at least one individual who built a "Mag85" on the 8 cell adaptor. That would seem to give a much nicer form factor (in my opinion). How much performance will I be giving up by going to the smaller volume? I can handle less output in exchange for smaller size. It might also help lower the bulb temp a little and lessen the tendancy of the MagCharger socket to vaporize--?? I don't want to cut down an expensive host only to discover that I really want the extra capacity. I'm looking for a functional compromise light--not the absolute most raw lumens--but I don't want to produce a "camel" that doesn't satisfy me.

    -I'm guessing that there is no easy way to modify the stock battery charger to work with the 8 cell configuration. I don't mind, however, wiring a new battery charger to the Mag bracket. I understand the stock charger takes 16 hours to charge the light anyway--and I wouldn't mind an upgrade that would yield 3-4 hour charge time. It shouldn't be too hard to hook a good charger into the contacts on the Mag bracket, should it?

    -How much run time am I giving up by going to the 2D length? Or would I actually gain some because of the lower voltage? I assume I need to bore the light out to accept the 2500ma cells in an adaptor--or does the MagCharger have a different ID? 45 minutes of useful light would be my ideal. Is that at all realistic?

    -Can I use one of the HOP or stipled reflectors designed for the regular Mag lights? I want to approximate the wide, smooth beam of the M6. I'd also like to have 250'--300' feet of useful throw...but I don't know if I can achieve both. Again, I'm willing to compromise--but I don't want to create an in-between light that is not useful.

    I know this is a long post, and I am asking a lot of elementary questions. I'm sorry about that. You guys have shown me the possibilities, and I'm eager to try my hand at creating something. I want to avoid making dumb mistakes if I can benefit from your collective wisdom. Thanks again for your patience and advice.

  2. #2
    Moderator js's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    5,777

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    theamazingrando,

    OK. First things first:

    I think you would be happy with either of these basic configurations:

    1. A Welch Allyn (WA) 1111 driven by 6 Sanyo HR-3U 2500 mAh NiMH cells
    2. A WA 1185 driven by 9 Sanyo AA's.

    I replaced the 1185 driven by 8 cells with the 1111 driven by 6, because you will be happier with the latter, and it takes fewer cells.

    So,

    Things can be made MUCH simpler if you are willing to leave the MC in stock form. In that case, get your hands on one of FiveMega's wonderful 9 AA-to-3D adadptors and some bare bi-pin 1185's and you are most of the way there.

    Or if it must be 2D, cut it off, and add the threads and o-ring sealing surface to the end, and find some good 3 AA to D adaptors and some bi-pin 1111's and you are most of the way there.

    The rest of it is the charging circuit. First of all, it is an LM317T based constant current charger, so if you simply provide it with enough over-voltage, it will charge 9 cells or 6 cells, but at the same rate as it charged the 5 cell stick. Is that a 16 hour deal? Hmm. If so, that means it would also charge the 2500 mAh AA's in the same time, as they have the same capacity as the 2500 mAh NiCd stick. You can mod the charging circuit to up the current, but not to higher than a 10 hour charge, otherwise you will be damaging your batteries as soon as they reach full charge. Illuminated is the guy to PM about this, as he modded a couple of the MC circuits for Ginseng, but I could also do it.

    It is possible, and even diserable, to make a complete, integrated battery pack out of the AA cells and avoid the whole problem of the adaptors, but there are very few people who can do this for you. I am one of them, and Ginseng is another. Ginseng doesn't have any time these days (grad school), and I am pretty darn full-out with projects as well, but at some point in the far distant future I could maybe make you up a 6 or 9 cell, three stack battery pack with + and - contacts, just like the mag 5 cel stick.

    As far as the reflectors, no, you can't use ones designed for the regular mag lights. The MC uses a plastic cage around the reflector that has the cam on it, whereas on a regular mag the cam is on the reflector itself. So the MC needs a reflector with no nub. And avoid stippled if you want to approximate the M6 beam. Use OP. It's nice and smooth but still throws.

    If you send me your MC, I can mod a HOP 1940 on the lathe to fit. If you send me your charging cradle and wallwart, I can mod that to put out 250 mA and I have wallwarts lying around that will work to charge either 6 or 9 NiMH cells.

    But at the moment I simply don't have enough time to make up an end-to-end soldered pack that would work with the MC.

    My advice is to leave your MC stock--don't bore it or cut it off--and get your hands on a FM 9 AA-to-3 D adaptor (those are really high quality pieces of work) and some bi-pin 1185's. litho123 will sell you WA lamps. I don't know about getting a FM adaptor. Then send the MC and charging system to me. At the end of it all, you will have an MC85. It will run for about 35 minutes, give or take, IIRC. The Sanyo's will deliver 2 AH at that rate, and the lamp will draw 3.3 amps so, basically 2/3.3*60 = 36 minutes is an informed guess.

    I will mod the charging circuit for, say, $10, plus another $5 for the wallwart, $15 for the modded reflector, and whatever return shipping costs. But make sure you can get your hands on a FM adaptor first. And be careful about other adaptors--some of them are too high a resistance to work with a 3 amp draw.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  3. #3
    Moderator js's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    5,777

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    You know, it occurs to me, now that I've had my coffee, that if you are confident enough to cut off your MC and add a new o-ring sealing surface and threads, that you are a WAY better machinist than I am, and that you can just mod your own reflector to fit you MC. So I can sell you a stock 1940 for $10 and you can cut it to fit yourself.

    And if you are that good at machining, you are already, or can easily become, good enough to do your own soldering and electronics work. So just get the skinny on modding your MC circuit from Illuminated. It's more or less as simple as changing out a resistor or two. I can still sell you a wallwart if need be, although if the MC one is 12VDC and 500 mA, it has enough over-voltage already for the 6 cell 1111 mod. So you may be all set on that front as well.

    That only leaves the end-to-end soldered pack, or AA to D apator issue. If you want to learn how to end-to-end solder your own packs, let me know. I can give you some links and info and pointers.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  4. #4

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    I'm no machinist. I had planned on having someone else cut it down for me. I'd like to play around with doing that sort of thing myself--but I think I should start with a $15 maglite--or some plain pipe.

  5. #5

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    So, the MAg85 doesn't really work well on 8 cells? I know I've seen some posts about 8 cell -85s...but I wondered how they would compare to the Mag11.

    If I'm looking for M6-ish performance, would I be happy with a Mag11?

    You're probably right that I should try my MagCharger as a regular Mag85 before I think about chopping it. My ideal light may still be a Mag11 in charger form...I really like the portability

    Do I need to worry about micah or isenglass heat shields under the lamp?

  6. #6

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    Is the advantage of a soldered battery pack lower resistance?

  7. #7

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    By the time you're done boring out the tube, replacing the reflector, and adding the Fivemega holder and AA NiMH cells, you've spent close to $200. Maybe if you want an M6 you should buy an actual M6. Another alternative is buy a Tigerlight, which with the latest lamp is comparable to an M6 LOLA, and brighter lamps (hopefully comparable to the M6 HOLA) are supposedly on their way.

    Simplest mod for a Magcharger is just replace the bulb with a WA 01160 and keep using the stock charger and battery pack. You have a 3D sized light but output is in the M6 HOLA territory.

  8. #8

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    [QUOTE=paulr]By the time you're done boring out the tube, replacing the reflector, and adding the Fivemega holder and AA NiMH cells, you've spent close to $200. QUOTE]

    I did not buy the MagCharger--I was lucky to acquire it at no cost.

  9. #9
    Moderator js's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    5,777

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    Good points by paulr,

    but, for the record, the TL Gen4 LA, or any of the TL LA's, are about 275 lumens. The M6 LOLA is about 400 lumens! No joke. An 1160 MC is about 450 lumens and is only just slightly brighter in a ceiling bounce test than the M6 LOLA. The M6 HOLA blows it away.

    theamazingrando,

    Why not start by dropping in a WA 1160 and see if that pleases you? Best $3 upgrade in the entire flashlight world. And yes, you do have to worry about heat damage to the bi-pin socket. And mica does help.
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  10. #10

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    Wow, I didn't realize that the 1160 MC was that bright!

    How many lumens can I realistically expect to put out the front end with a Mag85 or a Mag11? I have seen people throwing around numbers, but I don't know how optimistic they are.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* andrewwynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Racine, WI USA
    Posts
    3,764

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    I agree about the 1160.. that is such an awesome bangforbuck solution.

    For 2D size.. the 1111 is unbeatable... well save one trick i have coming.. using 7.2V source and a regulator to run 1160 at 800-850 lumen constant.

    besides the mica (which somebody was offering for free).. don't push the bulb in all the way.. if the glass touches it will melt the plastic very fast.


    Regulated hotwire 'the hotdriver' also for Surefire M6 • 3-level high-power LED drop-in for mag. the 'BAM!' click here
    I have disabled PMs.. use the 'email' link instead!Genesis 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light...

  12. #12

    Default Re: MagCharger85 in 2D length?

    If you can get 800 lumens out of a 2D body, what do you estimate run time to be?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •