The Rulag Minature Pocket Lamp

Lowglow

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Dec 4, 2023
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Hemel Hempstead UK
Dwarf size, giant capacity reads the box...

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I have always struggled with incandescent EDC's. It's either the Mag Solitaire or a plethora of pretty poor AA or AAA powered lights all with the borderline useless 1.2V lensed bulb in or two cells in series making a long light that won't comfortably be carried in a trouser pocket.

But the Rulag from the early 1960's offers something that most tiny lights don't - a small form with a good beam!
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It does so with a special bulb that is like a marble - a giant glass bead is recessed into the top.
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And here's where it gets a bit weird, the power source is a 2V minature lead acid battery! Same as used in electric lighters. Long unavailable, I'm not sure if you could recharge them or not but the ones I've seen are all dried out. They had two spring terminals on the top which make contact with the switch and bulb base. The on switch being a simple slider. But it works well!
Two bulbs were available over the production run; a 1.8V one and a 2.5V one that says 'Japan' on the side. The 1.8V ones are pretty white at rated so I expect the 2.5V one was used to give longer hulb life. I fitted two little NiMh cells in a pack with a pair of wires soldered in place with some insulation cut back to allow charging via a pair of small croc clips in situ.
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The top is Bakelite and the case made from metal. Several colours and different paint schemes were available. They look nice. Maybe it's just me but I find this flat, compact and simple light a good EDC in the winter. Getting up at night, looking under the stairs and seeing your way - it's much better than most beams I see. The marble bulb does work.
And unlike some other small lights, the bulb doesn't shine back in your face.
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So if you see one for sale, don't pass it by as useless. The form and function as well as the look is worth making up a basic battery pack - either a single lithium aaa or rechargeable batteries - depending on what bulb you have.
I was out today posting letters and reading the collection times with it and a lady said 'that's a good light' so it still gets noticed.
I picked up mine from a jumble sale and a couple on eBay. Nobody lights them up to see how good they are sadly due to the battery situation but that doesn't stop us does it!
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Lowglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2023
Messages
108
Location
Hemel Hempstead UK
That's cool. Thanks for sharing. Going to keep an eye out for one.

P.S. I remember you as Minimoog too!
Glad you enjoyed. Yes I was Minimoog alright! For some reason I couldn't access my account but it's still me :) . I missed sharing my discoveries and joining in so back again.

Actually I just found a battery so here it is with a PR bulb for size comparison. The 1950's and 1960's was packed with unique battery sizes.

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knucklegary

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Feb 11, 2017
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4,188
Location
NorCal, Central Coast
Did they come with different enameled themes on the case?
The red with white diagonal stripe pattern is kind of a reverse diver down flag

Very clean round beam!
 

Lowglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 4, 2023
Messages
108
Location
Hemel Hempstead UK
Did they come with different enameled themes on the case?
The red with white diagonal stripe pattern is kind of a reverse diver down flag

Very clean round beam!
Yes they did! I've seen a cross too and I'm sure there are others. Actually that's something simple missing from modern lights - interesting paint jobs.
 

F89

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 15, 2014
Messages
1,420
The beam looks like a McGizmo Sundrop.
 
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