Modified an Eveready 6V Lantern

Illum

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thought I do this just for fun, don't laugh fellas.

Exhibit 1: The iconic big orange lantern silly by today's standards. Output is a narrow point somewhere out in the boonies with zero spill and near zero practicality.

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The difficulty in making a reversible retrofit is the opposing polarity of the PR lamp and that the battery is retained by the reflector. This one has no seals and no real window [plastic film], which made me wonder how it lasted through all those hurricane years.

A platform was built to mount the LEDs on, and consisted of three separate pieces of scrap aluminum.
a 2" section of C channel, a 3"x2"x1" aluminum enclosure plate, and a piece of fitting C bracket [this one happens to be steel, which I took advantage for rigidity]. Driver for reference only.
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The C channel would serve as the stop for the battery [which will be replaced with a 6V lead Acid] as well as a space to fit a suitable driver.
I'm not hoping to turn it into an eyeball scorcher, but rather a functional splash resistant area light.

Thought to mention that a 8AA battery holder fits perfectly with just the right snugness. I can probably stack two or three 8-packs in there with eneloops.
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Mounting the retainer to the body, looking good.

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I dug up a 20LED assembly I tossed in the parts box originally mounted on one of these: http://www.lowes.com/pd_352725-47842-17783-003_0__?productId=3394398
Turned out to be a perfect fit. Since the original power adapter puts out 3.3V, I used a DC/DC converter I had on hand to replicate the circuit, works well with eneloops. Even though my converter datasheet says input minimum is 7V, with a load this small it actually runs down to 5V. I still need to put in a barrel plug to charge the battery.

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Right now the build is stalled, namely because I want to pick up some lexan, cut it to fit the window opening, coat it with some Rustoleum frosted glass spray to diffuse it, then put an actual LED of substance in there. Anyone recommendations for a driver that operates at 350-500mA and can be configured to shutdown around 6.3V? [lead acid depletes at around 6V]
 

FRITZHID

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

I take it you're going for more of a food light target than any throw at all?
If so, I have some defusing plastic left from my kitchen island light project left over that you're welcome to.
Looks like fun little project, I like taking old, obsolete lights and modding them, if even only into a slightly more useful device, lol.
Have fun tinkering!
 

Illum

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

hehe, this light is at least 10 years old, if I can get any benefit out of it, I call it an improvement. :)

How are you Chuck?
 

Ken_McE

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

The only thing missing is a way to recharge it without having to unbolt the LEDs. I like it. :popcorn:
 

alphazeta

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

Excellent mod. I think I'm going to dig up my old orange Eveready 6V lantern & revive it too. Also if you don't mind going lowtech -> I've made a few plastic lens by upcycling clear CD plastic jewel cases. Perhaps you can forgo your order of lexan & use that instead?

In any case -> this looks great & thanks for sharing it.
 

Illum

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

The only thing missing is a way to recharge it without having to unbolt the LEDs. I like it. :popcorn:

I'm probably just going to use the regular 6V lantern battery its got. Outputs only useful for close range at this point. Once the parts come in a TPS62203 based driver will be put together to deliver 3.3V across 2.5-6V input. The LED board draws about 220mA, TPS62203 can supply 300mA and the whole step-down circuit is only 4 components. On a new battery current draw should be less than 20mA, I don't forsee the need to replace the battery often :)

I'll install a CREE star in there once this LED board "burns out"
 

FRITZHID

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

Excellent mod. I think I'm going to dig up my old orange Eveready 6V lantern & revive it too. Also if you don't mind going lowtech -> I've made a few plastic lens by upcycling clear CD plastic jewel cases. Perhaps you can forgo your order of lexan & use that instead?

In any case -> this looks great & thanks for sharing it.

Idk, I've never had luck with CD cases, they always seem to crack too easily. They're flimsy and brittle imho. They work ok for smaller lights 1.5" dia fairly well tho.
 

alphazeta

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

Hmm, so far I've only used them to make small lenses so perhaps you're right. Anyhow, I'll give a try for a lens similar to this test out ur theory. Not shooting for optimal clarity here so this stuff fits the bill. But yes -> from my experience CD cases are very brittle when cut (etc)
 

Illum

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Re: Modified an Oveready 6V Lantern

Tried another approach, I ordered a driver for the LED array.
Texas Instruments TPS62203DBVT 2.5-6Vin, 3.3V out, totally more efficient than a resistor to run a 3.3V array off a 6V battery


The driverboard is approximately 1" x 1", four components. Skill level: Easy
Here's the driver beside the cut board. I lifted the Enable pin off the usual pitch because I need that to be connected to vin.
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Board now populated
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Board mounted to the existing LED array, making sure all sides are flush.
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Soldered alligator clips to the switch and the driver board
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After testing for function I cut an 1" long 1/2" wide heatshrink and shrunk it with the alligator clips attached, making a perfect cone insulating the springs. [did this after I found out the electrical tape method sucked]
As for securing the battery, I took another piece of extra 3" x 2" aluminum with protruding countersink holes and wedged it hard into the enclosure. Battery is stiff as can be, battery swap will need a good pair of pliers to pull the shim out.
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And it works! at 6V it draws 200mA, with a decent energizer 6V battery, it should run well around 2.2 days.
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Output is irritatingly blue, zero throw, not really as perfect of an area light as I would have liked, but its at least more useful than its original incandescent configuration. Since the mod is reversible, I might decide to use it for something else.
 
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