Ugrading an Eveready Dolphin 6V lantern - Bulb Options???

missionaryman

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Hi - I want to upgrade my Eveready Dolphin (I think it's the same as an Energizer Hardcase) basic 6v lantern battery light for more output using a brighter bulb and NIMH Aero pack that I will make to replace the 6V lantern battery if necessary.

Does anyone know what bulbs I could use - I was originally going to use the same bulbs you upgrade a Magcharger with by inserting a potted - Bi pin lug but I'm worried that I'll melt the the light. Using a 3D/3C maglite Krypton or even Xenon bulb is too weak - I want power.

Is there a safe mod that anyone knows of that this plastic light can cope with?

Appreciate the input thanks.
 

missionaryman

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Ok since no one gave me any input and I got bored waiting I took apart an old battery drill and and made a 7.2 volt pack using the high current SC 1200mah cells in the pack.

The standard bulb is now overdriven and the light is rechargeable, I soldered the pack directly to the contacts and soldered a jack to the front so I can plug my charger straight in for re-charging.

The end result is really quite surprizing, a bright white light with a fairly poor quality beam but improved over standard with a throw of about 100m. I compared it to my 90 lumen 2 x LIR123A light and it's no where near the output, it phases any standard Maglite for brightness & throw and the all up cost is, well, peanuts really.

I'd love to post some beamshots but I'm not allowed to. I think it's because I'm new & unenlightened.
 

AvPD

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Dug this up doing a search on CPF for Dolphin. I was about to buy a PR flange LED from a US eBay seller when I realised that it wouldn't work in my Dolphin due to the reverse polarity of the lantern battery. However I bought a Terralux Universal LED upgrade (TLE-20) as the Maglite pins can be reversed in the PR flange adaptor. It's rated at 25 lumens (a 1W Luxeon at 50%) but I'm hoping that it's not fixed for all voltages.
Probably have to wait a week or two for it to arrive, I might post the result here if there's interest (or none). Even if it is pissweak it'll have a correspondingly longer runtime.

Can't believe how little information there is on TLE-20 on CPF.
 
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Hondo

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I found another way to beat the 6V lantern polarity issue. I took a cheap carbon lantern battery and popped the top by hammering my shop knife into the parting line just below the top of the case. Pitch the dead F cells (watch it, most of them have leaked if the battery has gone dead). For my purpose, using the Craftsman LED upgrade bulb, I stuck 4 26650 Li-Ion cells I happened to have salvaged from a laptop pack, in parallel, back in the case. I then could wire them to the terminals in the top with the center spring positive, and with a couple of dabs of hot glue, reattach the top. This could be done with various types of cells, 4 D's being the most obvious. A word of caution on what I did - the Craftsman bulb is too good at regulating at lower voltages to let the LED dim noticeably until the battery voltage is low enough to damage the cells. I really need to build a direct drive bulb with a resistor inside the battery to allow it to give warning. But I don't cycle it over a very wide range of voltage, as it has over 11,000 mAh of capacity, and virtually no self-discharge.

Hondo
 

lctorana

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Hardcase is not the same as a Dolphin - a Dolphin floats, but the Hardcase would sink like a stone.

I have made what I call the "Roar of the Dolphin", which consists of a Mk 5 (current model) Dolphin with a RoP-low bulb (hence the name), powered by 7 4/5 A ex-laptop cells in series for 8.4V.

With an overdriven 11W bulb, that's about the limit for the plastic lens and bulbholder.

Oh, it's nice and bright. :)
 

AvPD

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The TLE-20 is arrived and fitted, thankfully it does have a "high" and "low" mode. The position of the LED (which has pins too narrowly spaced apart for the PR flange adapter!) affects the beam of the torch, too low and there's a doughnut ring, too high and there's a bright spot in the middle, at the expense of beam width.
The brightess is what I'd call "useable" it's not enough to turn it into a floodlight but it's not disappointing either. Roughly guessing, equivalent to an incadescent with the battery about 70%.
I even took a (grainy) photo of the beam up-close (the beam's focal point is about 3m in front of the torch)
1000899rgo7.jpg


The reflector is set up for maximum throw so it's like a mobile LED spotlight. Even if the size of the LED does limit the brightness I'm much more inclined to use the Dolphin torch now, because the runtime wasn't as good as I liked with the incandescent.
 

lctorana

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AvPD,

Interesting thought about the reverse-polarity - never noticed that!

So... I'm guessing about the same brightness as a standard 0.5A vacuum bulb, which are in the 25 - 26 lumen range.

It would be also interesting to compare this to the new Hardcase 4D LED one that is coming out soon.

You mention runtime - what would you get with a heavy duty zinc-carbon battery - about 20 hours, say?

I am sure that it is only a matter of time before we see a LED Dolphin.

Hondo,

How do you charge your parallel battery? Does it charge up OK?
 

AvPD

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I'm guessing about the same brightness as a standard 0.5A vacuum bulb, which are in the 25 - 26 lumen range.

That about right lctorana, the factory figure is 25 lumens (must be 12.5 lumens on lower voltages), as it turns out I tried one of those vacuum bulbs and the light output is similar. Also, I alternately shone a 1W Nite-Ize maglite and the Dolphin against a wall in the same spot as a way of comparing the total output, the Dolphin was about 80% of the Nite-Ize (which is 30 lumens according to wassco.com).
 

Hondo

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lctorana, I usually just use a "dumb" wallwart to charge at about 175 mA, and monitor often, but it takes a while if it is down very far. An easier way is to put alligator leads from the pickups on my DSD charger for 18650's to the springs on the battery. It still takes a while if it has been used much, but it will peak detect at around 4.18 volts and stop the fast charge - although I understand there is a bit of a trickle still remaining. I usually don't bother to charge all the way to 4.18 volts, though, and just stop around 4.0 volts to maximize long term life of the cells.

It is interesting to note that Craftsman lists the 6V lantern as a candidate for their upgrade bulb on the package, yet the reverse polarity will destroy the bulb. Fortunately, CPF saved me since I had read that already before I put one in my lantern.

Hondo
 
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