Modified vintage lights

Lowglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2023
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108
Location
Hemel Hempstead UK
if you have done similar please do share as its great to see. I've been using one such light for a couple of years now and it's proved itself. Vintage build quality 👌.

I had this 1929 Ever Ready 'Portable Electric Searchlight' in with a box of other junk. Honestly it was finished. Done. The lens was broken, the bulb holder was bent, the switch was completely non-operational, the body tube was corroded with holes and the tailcap spring was AWOL.

But I wanted to make it live again and be better than new. Here's the finished light.
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As you can see I cord wrapped the body to cover the damage and filled holes - plus it gives it some comfort in winter.
I fitted a new spring - soldered for best connection.
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It was originally housing a spare bulb but all that part was missing, having corroded away. Oh well. Then I rebuilt the switch
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It's actually a really nice movement. Having the momentary button like a ball in which the switch slides over in a matching arch is genius. Smooth after repair.
The reflector was washed and then polished with a microfibre cloth and new glass lens fitted.
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As I wanted a bright, economic and long lasting beam I elected to fit a 6V, 10W halogen bulb. These are fine with a bit of overdrive when run with a 2 x 6aa ni-mh stacks (I got this from a CPF seller ages back) which has a charge port in the base.
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I'm honestly impressed how an old beater can still be so good. Bright (over 200 lumens), tough, easy to use, adjustable beam, charge up overnight ready to go again and cheap to run. Couple of beamshots. I'm happy anyway.
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It's bright with a good fat beam. Vintage lights often perform much better than stock with a tasty bulb and modern batteries. No plastic to melt👌. Here it is pictured with a NOS one.
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I just thought I'd write as I find the mix of vintage quality and modern batteries and bulb so useful. If you fancy a new incan but non tickle your fancy why not do a simple modern twist? It may well become a favourite!
 

Lowglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2023
Messages
108
Location
Hemel Hempstead UK
Good work on that! Beam looks nice and clean.
Cheers. Yes I had to try a few bulbs to get one to match the reflector. I know the amount of people interested in old lights is minimal but when I'm asked in person I always mention about how a vintage light with simple neutral white LED drop-in is a better way to go than you would imagine. I'm pretty much alone (apart from here of course 😄) in often preferring a bulb but that doesn't matter.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,471
Location
Dust in the Wind
Those big head vintage lights sure could throw a beam.

The only old light I've modified is a 1950's 2C HIPCO turned into a "7D Maglite in a small package" from your thread about those. It has 2 18500 solar lamp batteries and a KPR118 bulb.

By then plastics had made their way into some flashlights so it was the lights by smaller companies that were still using metal reflectors.

I like the real old, nickel plated reflectors that can be spit polished to reflect better like when they were new. The chromed kind scratch too easy.
 

Lowglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2023
Messages
108
Location
Hemel Hempstead UK
Those big head vintage lights sure could throw a beam.

The only old light I've modified is a 1950's 2C HIPCO turned into a "7D Maglite in a small package" from your thread about those. It has 2 18500 solar lamp batteries and a KPR118 bulb.

By then plastics had made their way into some flashlights so it was the lights by smaller companies that were still using metal reflectors.

I like the real old, nickel plated reflectors that can be spit polished to reflect better like when they were new. The chromed kind scratch too easy.
I remember that Hipco! Nice. Are you still using it? I 100% agree about the nickel reflectors. Chrome doesn't seem to be all that much better to me despite looking all nice and shiny. A nice buff and the Nickel ones really gleam.
 

Lowglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2023
Messages
108
Location
Hemel Hempstead UK
I didnt necessarily upgrade the light below. Just added "new" alkaline batteries. It seems it was on its original bulb. Pretty cool. I would have no issue "upgrading" it though.View attachment 54596View attachment 54596View attachment 54597View attachment 54598View attachment 54599View attachment 54600
Thats nice. What bulb does it take? If 2.5 Volts you can use NiMh cells a 2.4V, 1A Krypton MES bulb or a with a 3.2V rechargeable one of the 3.1V 1A Krypton MES bulbs. Subtle mod whilst not changing anything that can't be changed back. Or just stock is good too.
 
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