solitaire LED MOD help

exodus125

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I have almost completed my first mod of a maglite solitaire. Before I hook it up I wanted to ask a few questions so I don't ruin the LED bulb or anything else for that matter.

I am using a radio shack 2600 mcd blue led bulb

My questions are:
(1) is it necessary to use a resistor with a 12v a23 battery? would it run better or safe with the resistor?
(2) how is the solitaire light turned off? I know by screwing in the head it turns off but what exactly is causing the light to turn off ?
(3) some mods call for the use of a washer to fit over the LED to help the light turn off better, so the washer needs to push on the LED itself? or push on the black housing the LED plugs into? this related to the second question I guess.



I found an old pen that has a clear casing that is the exact diameter of a AAA battery, so I will use that to make the spacer. Ive read in a lot of mods that no resistor is needed with that battery, but some mods say the flashlight will run hot if no resistor is used.

Thanks in advance for the help:popcorn:
 

Lynx_Arc

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1600mcd is dim.... most LEDs (generic) are 10k to 25kmcd now in the white/blue category. As for the 12v cell.. it will drive it hard and cause it to wear out faster and waste battery power some due to most LEDs overdriven the efficiency goes way down which means the increase in power doesn't give you a corresponding increase in output. Two things you can do is either a resistor or rip the 12v battery open and take 4 to 6 of the cells in it (should be 8 there) and use those and a longer spring.
If you want to know how the switch works take the head off it should light up..... push the LED or bulb inward and that shows you how it all works as the light goes out.
 

exodus125

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where can i get a bulb in the 26k range then? I read somewhere on here that some company offers free shipping, but they didn't mention the company.

I bought that bulb at radio shack and got it from the mod specs someone had written on another website. I assumed it was the best bulb available at radio shack but 2,600 and 26,000 is a big difference, unless they misprinted the info on the bulb, the little bulb was 5 bucks, radio shack part number 276-316
 

Illum

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:welcome:

My questions are:
(1) is it necessary to use a resistor with a 12v a23 battery? would it run better or safe with the resistor?
(2) how is the solitaire light turned off? I know by screwing in the head it turns off but what exactly is causing the light to turn off ?
(3) some mods call for the use of a washer to fit over the LED to help the light turn off better, so the washer needs to push on the LED itself? or push on the black housing the LED plugs into? this related to the second question I guess.

1: not unless you plan to run it over a minute, or if you have plenty of LEDs to spare
I'd use something around a 470 ohmer...yellow violet brown gold
heres an idea for the installation of a resistor: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/mods/solitaire2.htm

2: same as a minimag, if you've taken a minimag apart you'll notice one terminal of the lamp is connected to a little silver tab that contacts the body at the lip on top. When the head is screwed down all the way the reflector inside the head pushes on the lamp holder, which separates the tab and the body, breaking the circuit and extinguishing your lamp.

3. yeah the washer is nice, but depending on your build configuration you might be able to do without it. the concept of that would be adding a shim between the reflector to increase the internal length of the head and therefore shortening the distance required to turn it off
 

exodus125

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i bought a L20 Q5 from fenix so its not like I am trying to make a high powered LED light. But I had that solitaire laying around and figured I could do something with it. I will hook up that radio shack bulb for now I guess and look to buy one when i find a good website. If anyone in here has one they would be willing to sell to me, just let me know. I saw some on Ebay for cheap but they are in lots of 100.
 

Lynx_Arc

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find a keychain light at a dollar store it should be at least 10-16kmcd... I have some 26kmcd ones but I have found any overdriving these they fade rather fast. I have some older nichias I am unsure what the rating on they are they are prior to the DS and GS ones they had a group buy for about $1 each plus shipping but you had to order I think at least 5 of them?
 

exodus125

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OK, after 2 hrs of troubleshooting I got the light to work. I should start a post to show some hangups a newbie can encounter.

the black piece which the bulb sits into broke, but i found out later it wasn't really necessary. I ran into a problem because when I removed the AAA battery the black piece that sits inside the flashlight fell out. I'm not sure if that goes glued in place or not, but i think i forced it out when fiddling with the LED. Regardless, when i put everything back I didn't put it back together the right way and the light wasn't working. I finally figured out the metal tab which acts as a ground goes inside the flashlight housing, not on top. This is what causes the light to turn off when the LED is pushed in, the ground contact is separated from the circuit and the light turns off.

I ran the battery for half a second with no resistor, just to see how it looked and it was pretty bright. I made a quick spacer with a resister out of a pencil which caused the light to dim considerably,but it wasn't running hot AND it was still 500% better than the original bulb. After i got the light working I started working on a nicer spacer, which I made from a clear pen body and two washers. It looks like a mini battery and very professional. I have to solder or epoxy the resistor in place.

I'm thinking about giving the light to my older brother, who is always helping me with home improvements jobs. I have that Fenix light anyways, although that is a nice little light to have for any computer or electrical work. The light makes a decent area light. ANYWAYS, thanks for the help and I will make sure to take some pictures of the finished light to hopefully help a newbie with yet another MOD on a solitaire.

ALSO, again, if anyone has a good bulb in the 20k range they would like to donate/sell to me for the flashlight I would appreciate it. Id pay it forward in some other way. My brother is suppose to be coming over Nov. 11th to help me install some light fixtures and id like to gift it to him then. I'm also still looking for a website where I can order LEDS in the future, if anyone has any recommendations. :candle::twothumbs
 
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exodus125

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its not as fun i guess. :sick2: The fun part is modifying it yourself. Here is a diagram I drew up, let me know if I should add anything before I post this in a how to thread.

solitairemod.jpg
 

exodus125

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it just occurred to me, shouldn't the resistor go in first, and then the battery? or does it not matter?
 

Lynx_Arc

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I saw a thread long ago about someone making a pill with LED so that you could use a AAA battery with it. There were also some buying 14400 AAA lithium ion 3.7v batteries and resistors somehow to use the solitaire also but now that there are cheap to be had AAA led lights it really isn't cost effective to do more than the cheap mods to a solitaire when you can buy a fenix with a nichia DS led for $15 in colors that uses AAAs and runs for 10 hours.
 
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