Maglite 6D LED drop-in question?

DBee

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May 23, 2021
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Location
East Anglia, UK
Good morning all,
I couple of years ago a mate gave me his old Maglite 6D, which was manufactured in 1986. It was a bit battered and I had to strip and clean the contact points in the switch, as it was not operating smoothly. I also emailed Mag and they kindly sent me a new switch cover. I had an old incandescent bulb, which I fitted and it worked OK - apart from the fact that the beam was terrible - just a weak yellow blob of light with no spill at all.
Anyway, I purchased a TTS-ULT(10W) CREE XM-LS U3 drop-in all in one LED head and reflector from an online retailer here in the UK that I have used before, as well as a glass lens and it certainly improved things! It was advertised at 1000 lumens on high, with medium and low setting too. You lose the ability to focus the beam, but with this much light who cares? The flashlight was completely transformed, up to date and extremely useful and I keep it in the house as a security light as we live in a very rural location.

To keep the weight and cost down I run the 6D with 2 x AA rechargeable batteries in each of 6 adapters. The beam is great now and will easily light up trees 300-400+ feet away! It has a really nice hotspot and plenty of spill too. I would say it is comparable to the beam on my Mag ML300LX 2D.

The only problem is the size of the light - it's huge!

So my questing is this: Will this drop-in work in an old Mag 2D if I run it with 2 x 18650 batteries, and is this a good way to adapt it?
If it will, any ideas on what sort of run times I might get? With 6 D sized alkaline batteries this thing will run for many hours. On rechargeable AA's it will not run as long, but I only end up recharging them every few months, so not too bad.

If I can run this in a 2D body then obviously it will be easier to carry and will probably get a lot more use.

Thanks in advance for any advice.......and now for some pics! I can't find any decent outdoor beam shots (I know there are here somewhere) so I will take some more once it is dark tonight and add them.
 

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DBee

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Joined
May 23, 2021
Messages
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Location
East Anglia, UK
Found the pics I was looking for!
First two are the beam shots with the standard bulb followed by the upgraded LED drop-in.
Quite a difference I think you will agree.
 

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vicv

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Southern Ontario
That's funny. I'm running that same Incan bulb off of 2 18650s and it's very bright. Shows how bad alkalines are I guess. That being said, yes you can run that drop in on 2 18650s. Voltage works out very similarly.
Runtime would depend on drop in power draw and battery capacity. And how often and for how long you use each level.
Do you know how to measure how much current a flashlight draws with a digital multimeter? If you do, do that on high. Divide the MAH of the battery by that number. Then double that. Mah doesn't double when batteries are used in series but the end result is similar. That will give you a rough idea of how many hours you will get. More than likely for a thousand lumens it is probably an XML and probably draws around 3 amps. With a standard 18650 that will give you about 2 hours of run time on high. But that flashlight will hold 26650 no problem. That will give you around 5,000 milliamp hours. So almost double the runtime
 

xxo

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Apr 30, 2015
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2,334
You will need to mod the tail spring to run 2X 18650's in a 2D Mag. Matt Smith of Lumencraft has a great vid with all of the details:

 

DBee

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May 23, 2021
Messages
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Location
East Anglia, UK
Thank you for the replies and link to the video - really interesting stuff. I’m afraid I don’t know how to measure current - I can wire a plug but more than that is a bit beyond me!
I have however sourced a used, ex-police Mag 2D for a very reasonable sum from an online supplier. I already have some 18650 batteries and have constructed a battery holder using the 6D as a size guide. Once it arrives I will fit the drop-in and batteries, fiddle with the battery spring & then give it a try and post the results (with photos) - all positive hopefully.
My next purchase then may well be 26650 batteries for extra run-time.
 

ChrisGarrett

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Feb 2, 2012
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Miami, Florida
~10 years back, I went with TerraLux Mini-Star 5 LED modules for my two 6Ds. They're no brighter, but runtimes are better and heat is less.

I haven't used them since then, as they're just too big and heavy.

Dinosaurs from a better time.

Chris
 

DBee

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May 23, 2021
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Location
East Anglia, UK
I've got a few of their 80 & 100 lumen Minimag ones too and the 60 lumen drop-in for my Minimag AAA made it a lot more useful.

Well the 2D host arrived and apart from some marks where the police ID's were ground off, it's in very good condition. I silicon greased all the o'rings, got my Dremel out and wire brushed off the anodising from inside the tail-cap, cut down a spare spring I had and added some solder to each end to ensure a good contact and then put it all together.
It is now a much more manageable size and gives off a great 3 level beam. Overall, a very satisfying job.
I'm not sure it counts as a build - more a lego job.
 

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