The things we Flashaholics get up to at night


Apr 21, 2003
It was a fairly normal day for me, and I was just about ready to get back to work after the holiday revelry. However, I needed something from my storage and delved into a box of things I recently got from storage... oh hey, what's this? The old Solitaire from way back when (2001!!) and it has an Energizer AAA that has a date code of ... 2008! And wonder of wonders, it hadn't leaked!

I turned the head and lo and behold it worked! It was putting out less light than a lightning bug, so I went digging some more through the stuff. Oh, here's a package from McGizmo! Let's open it up!!

I found two Luxeon (3W?) stars and a very nice aluminum reflector and a couple of optics. It looked like some parts of a Minimag conversion kit from way back when.

The code on the back of the star says: SV1KW and 4303LXHLLW3C, if that means anything to anyone.

I also found an old multimeter in there, and I had a depleted CR123A from an Arc4+ rolling around on my desk. You can guess what happened next! Direct drive time. It shone about as bright as a regular 5mm LED.


After that, I remembered that I also had a Li-ion battery in a phone that I'm not using anymore. Yup, direct drive again, but just for a couple of seconds. I now have no night vision. Doh!!


So now I want to make a small flashlight out of these parts that I have. The li-ion battery is very slim, but takes up some space in the other two dimensions. The star can probably stay as is, and I can mount either the reflector or the optic to it. How would I drive the LED? Should it be direct drive or do I risk blowing it? I'm planning on measuring the voltage of the battery as I use the light for the first time so I have an idea of how much runtime to expect. Is it a good idea to do this in an altoids tin?