Minimag aa upgrades?

Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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I bought a new minimag aa just for the heck of it. It was $10 and came in an attractive deep blue color. The brightness is fine for me but it does have quite an ugly beam with holes and artifacts. Is that due to the bulb itself or the head design?

Are there bulbs available that produce a cleaner beam than the stock one? What are some fun ways to tinker with this light while keeping it an incan?

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Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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That etching stuff says it’s not useable on plastic. Do you think sanding the lens would produce the same effect? I have several of the factory plastic lenses so if I ruined one it would be no biggie.
 
Olumin

Olumin

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"...that famous Texas part of Hamburg"
Do you think sanding the lens would produce the same effect?
Id done uniformly yes. You'll make a diffuser. You can "preview" the result by fogging the lens with your breath.
You've got a spare bulb in the tailcap too, so you can always switch back if you dont like the result. Ive frosted regular bi-pin magnumstar & the beam looks better then most led lights Ive seen.
 
Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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Do you sand both sides of the lens or is one adequate?
 
bykfixer

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Try chapstick on the bulb or lens to see if you like the change. If so frosting it won't end up being a look you don't like.

Filament shadow is a trait all (untreated) light bulbs have to some degree or other. Some treat it with orange peel reflectors, some by frosting the bulb globe, some using a frosted lens. Maglite chose max output over any treatments thinking cops chasing perps don't think about a little filament shadow.
 
Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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Will chapstick on the bulb diffuse it as much as the sanded lens? What is DC-fix?

I sanded one of my spare lens. It makes quite a nice beam for close up use. I expected those 14 lumens to not be particularly useful when diffused but I am pleasantly surprised. I like this option but am still curious if I could get a cleaner beam while retaining the throw.
 
bykfixer

bykfixer

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If you elect to put a 22.61mm glass in that warm LED minimag from flashlightlens dot com you can also add a 22.61mm size acrylite lens to the cart. Acrylite really cleans up a beam while allowing around 94% original throw.

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Left is acrylite over a ML25IT
Right is a stock ML25LT with Stinger anti-roll device.
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Nice LED-esque beam.

I use them in ML25 and vintage lights and can hardly tell a difference with throw but filament shadow disappears. Chris has a real winner with that one.

DC Fix is a diffuser "decal" that covers a lens.

My chapstick suggestion is a temporary thing to see if you like the change but can be wiped off.
 
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Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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I took the pup to the park tonight along with the minimag. I used a nice clear glass lens in it (the same kind that I use in my led one). The chapstick on the bulb did seem to clean the beam up a little, but the artifacts and such are also less noticeable when outdoors. I used it on the most focused mode and size for size nothing seems to throw like a bulb; those minuscule 14 lumens really shoot out there. The light is such a great size too. I didn’t realize the led’s are way longer until I got the incan version.

Thanks for the suggestion on the acrylite lens, that looks really good. I just ordered a couple.
 
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bykfixer

bykfixer

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There was a time in the mid-1980's it was said a minimag was sold every 16 seconds. Maybe it was the early 90's? Anyway they were very popular because they were nearly as bright as their 2C/2D counterparts but were so much smaller.

Back then filament shadow was like paper cuts. It was just something you put up with. Enter the new millenium and suddenly due to LED and paperless data those are no longer the norm. And that's a good thing.

Back then people largely didn't notice the donut hole in the flashlight beam. If not for CPF I wouldn't have either. I did not know my flashlight beams had flaws at all before joining here. :)
 
Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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Why is it that mags have a filament shadow but surefire P60’s have a nice clean beam?
 
bykfixer

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P60 has an orange peel fairly dull reflector. Maglite uses mirror shiney smooth kind. So it exagerates the flaws.

It takes 60 lumens to shine a P60 as far as the 14 lumen minimag does. Now the P60 also has more spill, but the dull orange peel reflector takes away some throw.
 
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I

Incandescent

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The Acrylite lens is the way to go if you just want to get rid of the beam artifacts and filament shadows while maintaining most of the intensity and throw. They really do an amazing job at that.

I have a couple Minimags with lenses in them which I cut out of some frosted plastic CD cases many years ago. That turned them into total flood lights which are really useful indoors at night, and for looking at things up close, but 14 lumens flooded out no longer have much throw. Nowadays the same effect can be achieved more easily by putting d-c-fix milky on a stock lens.
 
Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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Thanks for the tip byk. I am really looking forward to trying out the acrylite. Should be here saturday.
 
Megalamuffin

Megalamuffin

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I got the acrylite lens today. All the options they had on the site were 1.90mm thick. I didn’t think about it when ordering but it’s super thick and the bezel doesn’t screw down all the way. It doesn’t keep the light from working but doesn’t look right either. Just wondering if there’s something I’m missing here?

I did try an led bezel since it’s longer but it was too long even with the extra thick lens and the lens flopped around. I could shim it for a tight fit but really only tried the led bezel out of curiosity.

On focus mode it is quite a bit nicer.

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Still has a donut hole, although it’s better. Maybe because the lens is too thick for the bezel?

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Lynx_Arc

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Donut holes means the optics/reflectors is not lined up either too far in or out of focus.
 

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