New LED Mini-Mags VS old mods

Socrates67

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Dec 1, 2007
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Which is better? The new Maglite 3 Watt LED 2AA Mini-Mag or upgrading an older Mini-Mag? I just bought a new 3 watt 2AA LED one but I still have three of the older Mini-mags I want to upgrade. I read that the specs with the old icans are 5.3 Lumens with a 6 hour battery life, and the new ones are around 40 Lumens but it seems the batteries last much less, like only 2 hours. Assuming the Nite-Ize 1Watt and the Terralux 1Watt drop-ins are essentially the same, and I think also around 40 Lumens, how do they fair in battery life? If I want to build a "useful" collection do I keep buying the new Mini-mags or aquire more old ones and upgrade those? (Also, is my data correct?):confused:
 

bladerunner

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I have used a 3 watt LED mini-mag at work and I didn't like it because of battery life. It puts out lots of light until voltage gets to around 1.3v and it will flicker and quit. It will not draw the cells down as other lights do. It is now stored in the glove box of my Mom's car.
I have a terra-lux 1 watt in another mini-mag that I cannot remember the last time I put batteries in it. It works great with just a little less output. hope this helps...
 

kosPap

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I bought one and regreted the money spent more than the DX and KD defectuve mishaps (at least these gave me parts for mods)

I wonder how much the designer team paid for letting it F##K up a good design...

1. there is no tailcap compatibility with the old style. Cross out the aftermarket switches,

2. The flashlight is unnecessary long. Part of it is the taicap design.

3. The tailcap spring retainer leaf springs set with time and break electrical connection.

3. The LED contacts are not welded to the driver contacts. They are press fitted. Over time they looosen and you have to dissasemble it and add solder to the driver leads to increase contact pressure.

4. The runtime/voltage issue descrived above...

5. The reflector makes you loose intensity when you focus to a tight spot. It turns out that it unscrews too much over the led that there is light spill BEHIND the reflector hole!!!

I would go on with emotional reasons but i got to put away the shovel for now...

hmmm Kostas
 

Cydonia

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kosPap said it well :D A few little changes here and there and the MiniMag LED could have been a really good product. But oh nooo...
For those in the USA who can buy a MiniMag LED really cheap, it might be worthwhile, to do some modding on. Like replace the LED and solder it in place. Add copper shims under the LED so it can focus better etc.,
 

Superdave

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Quad Cities, IA
weird.. i keep a 3-AA MagLED in my tool bag at work. I've never had any problems with it. It is dim compared to my other lights but it's been through hell and still works.
 

yellow

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none of both!

the old model:
* is too dim
* turn itself on when pocketed (the "new" model with improved threads)
* keeps :poof:ing the bulb

the new one:
* is too long
* is too dim

the old model somehow is the nicer one. Looks more pleasant to the eye, is handier to grip ...


PS: makes no sense to upgrade any ot them. If doing so, use a long runtime insert and keep as emergency light.
searching for output: get an actual multimode 2 AA light (Fenix, jetbeam, ...) which are better in every respect
(except for price, but they are worth it)
 

mbw_151

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Oregon
I agree that incandescent AA Mini-Mag upgrades should be for low to moderate output and long run time. The NiteIze and TerraLux 5mm upgrades have great runtime 10-15 hours and the TerraLux Luxeon 1 upgrade has decent runtime (6-8 hrs)and is much brighter. Brighter than that requires real heat management, something not easy or cheap to retrofit. In other words, a new light.
 

Black Rose

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weird.. i keep a 3-AA MagLED in my tool bag at work. I've never had any problems with it.
I thought I saw something on here before where someone said that between the 2xAA and 3xAA MagLEDs, the 3xAA was the better one.

Can't recall why they said it was the better of the two.
 

dudemar

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The Terralux TLE-5EX Cree LED drop-in is a great upgrade. You can still keep your old minimag and have 80 lumens or so going out the front. I bought one for a friend and he loves it.
 

zs&tas

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isnt it rated at 140 lumens ? or do u mean thats what u actually get ? i love my AA mag and have a niteezi 1 watt just for batt life, prolly going for the terralux upgrade soon for more light.
shame Mag have f*&^ed up the new model :-( just have to buy some old ones of ebay :)
 

Gunner12

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The LED minimag is not that new, its been out for a while(still new for Maglite:rolleyes:). Stock minimag is around 10 lumen and the LED minimag is around 40 and also has more throw, but you can double that(or more) if you swap in a current gen LED.

140 lumen is at the LED before optical losses.

The price of the drop-in is also around the price of some budget lights.
 

SUREFIRED

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THE NEW AA MINI HAS THE R2 AND SHOULD BE OUTPUTTING GOOD LIGHT , WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG TO 1/2 STARTUP BRIGHTNESS. SOUNDS LIKE AN UNREGULATED CIRCUIT. HAVE ASKED LEATHERMAN TO DO A TEST AND RATE. WILL ADVISE RESONSE.

(OT) Im sorry, but is your caps lock key stuck? That is really annoying to read. :green:

On topic- I had a 2aa minimag led for several months and the led dome fell off, then the actual led started to chip. I would rather mod a normal minimag.
 

Marduke

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THE NEW AA MINI HAS THE R2 AND SHOULD BE OUTPUTTING GOOD LIGHT , WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG TO 1/2 STARTUP BRIGHTNESS. SOUNDS LIKE AN UNREGULATED CIRCUIT. HAVE ASKED LEATHERMAN TO DO A TEST AND RATE. WILL ADVISE RESONSE.

You have been misinformed. The first gen MiniMag LED uses a Lux III, and the new 2nd gen MiniMag LED is Rebel.
 

R@ndom

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Melbourne AU
THE NEW AA MINI HAS THE R2 AND SHOULD BE OUTPUTTING GOOD LIGHT , WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH AND HOW LONG TO 1/2 STARTUP BRIGHTNESS. SOUNDS LIKE AN UNREGULATED CIRCUIT. HAVE ASKED LEATHERMAN TO DO A TEST AND RATE. WILL ADVISE RESONSE.

Since when did selfbuilt call himself leatherman?:shrug:lovecpf
 

chmsam

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There's a least one thread in the LED section that describes and discusses the AA MiniMag with the Rebel and mulit-mode function, and other threads discussing upgrade options for LED MiniMag's. Easy to find these with a search.
 

yellow

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even if there were an R2 inside:
without POWER to the led, it will make no difference if P3 or R2 to - say - some cheap DX light that pushes the led with 800 mAh.

At the current the MM sees, even with a R2 it will be less bright than one of the DX offerings using an old Lux III.

Good that Mag builds some protection for the led into their lights!
But bad that they dont improve the crappy heatsinking path.
 
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