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Thread: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

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    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    *Beamshots are up...go to end of thread...*

    Ok, I mentioned this in one of the threads I posted on, and recieved a PM about it...so, here it is, and how you do it. Were basically going to install a 3 volt 5mm LED in a blown P60 LA. I make no claims that this is a bad-arse mod, or is bright, etc...it's just a way to justify saving all your "dead" 123's, and getting a chance to use them, as well as a simple mod for begginers. Most of on CPF know that you should only run down single CR123's, to prevent the risk of them going Hope you enjoy.

    What's needed (minimal)
    -P60 Lamp Assembly
    -Needle Nose pliers (or the like)
    - 3 volt (~) 5mm LED
    -CR123 Spacer (for 2 cell lights)

    1. Start by removing the leads from the xenon lamp module to both of the springs at the base...makes it easier to remove the lamp.
    2. Remove both springs from the bottom of the LA
    3. Using needle-nose pliers, etc., point the LA away from you, and break the top part, giving you access to the solid glass bottom of the fixtre. Once the lamp is broken, grab the base of the lamp, and "wiggle" it out from the ballast...it won't come right out, but with a few twist and turns, it shouldn't be a problem)
    4. Insert your choice of 5mm LED through the slot where the xenon lamp use to be, and bend the leads over , holding it in place.
    5. Ensure you have already verified which lead is positive and which is the negative. On mine, the longer lead was the negative one.

    Picture 1. Here you can see the leads from the LED bent over the springs. Soldering is recommened, but not necessary, if you need it in a pinch.


    6. While inserting the positive (smaller/inner spring) spring, wrap the postive lead from the LED over the last/bottom spring, bend it over, solder (if needed), and remove any excess lead.

    7. Repeat step 6 for the negative lead using the negative (outer/bigger) spring.

    8. Apply some thermal glue/paste to hold the LED if needed. Mine was a pretty snug fit, so i just let it sit in there, and it seems to be holding thus far.

    Once again, this isn't really an "upgrade". I was reading some the post on the bi-pin towers, etc., and got bored. This is a great mod for extended power outages, and using up your "dead" primaries (~2.6 volts), and you can loan this to people for meaningless tasks (reading/comfort light/going through a back pack/etc.), and save your primaries (that you may be limited on) for the more important tasks.

    Hope you all enjoy, and would like to see what a few of you can come up with. I'll be stopping at Radio Shack in the next few days to see if they have any higher voltage 5mm's.

    Here's a few pic's of it being tested and final assy. (I used a yellow LED, as my red one's all got fried in prior "experiments"

    Picture 2.


    Picture 3.




    Picture 4.

    Last edited by angelofwar; 07-15-2010 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Beamshots added

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* DimeRazorback's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Nice idea!

    If i get some spare parts i might make a blue one or UV

    ^^Click for my beamshots!!^^ My Flashlights

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Very cool idea. I'll have to try this.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Excellent mod. I might try one with a red led for a long runtime camping light.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* RyanA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    A mini mag is great for red led mods. Since the red's have a low vf. there's a 10mm red at radio shack that works real nice. You can use a range of different resistors depending on what batteries you run, but 33 ohms will cover most bases (nimh-L91) and it runs fricken FOREVER.

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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Interesting mod thanks for sharing!
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Well, we can thank Kestrel for getting me to post it...show us your mods' when yer done, and how well they work.

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    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    This is a really good idea, I can't wait to try this, I just need to acquire:
    • A blown P60 LA
    • 5mm LED's
    • CR123 spacer or 1xCR123 body
    • depleted CR123
    LOL, talking about starting from nothing...

    Two questions to start off with,
    1. What is the brightness compared with another low-level LED light, i.e. do you think you get more lumens per milliwatt than other configurations - would it be more or less efficient than a purpose-built low-level light?
    2. Can you actually use a new CR123 without harming your led? I wonder what the runtime might be - I know that most other 'battery vampires' use some circuitry - the Milky candle being one example.
    I like the economy and simplicity for what is basically an E01 in a bomb-proof 6P/Z41 package. I want this for a middle-of-the-night light since pretty much all of my lights don't have a low enough low.

    Thanks for posting,
    Last edited by Kestrel; 07-25-2009 at 07:33 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Do you need a bezel with Pyrex or the lexan on the stock G2 can handle this upgrade?

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Good one!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    nice mod! can we get some beamshots?

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    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    With the E series the best you can use is a single LED, I'm pretty sure with the P60 you can achieve the KL2 style of driving with 5mms...
    Last edited by Illum; 07-26-2009 at 12:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    This is a really good idea, I can't wait to try this, I just need to acquire:
    • A blown P60 LA
    • 5mm LED's
    • CR123 spacer or 1xCR123 body
    • depleted CR123
    LOL, talking about starting from nothing...



    Two questions to start off with,
    1. What is the brightness compared with another low-level LED light, i.e. do you think you get more lumens per milliwatt than other configurations - would it be more or less efficient than a purpose-built low-level light?
    2. Can you actually use a new CR123 without harming your led? I wonder what the runtime might be - I know that most other 'battery vampires' use some circuitry - the Milky candle being one example.
    I like the economy and simplicity for what is basically an E01 in a bomb-proof 6P/Z41 package. I want this for a middle-of-the-night light since pretty much all of my lights don't have a low enough low.

    Thanks for posting,
    Thanks for all the reply's. Kestrel, to answer your questions:

    1. This is about as low as I've seen them get...I really want to try this with one of my white LED's, but I've already used them up. I don't think it's very effecient, but what else can you use to get light from a CR123 that only has 2.5 volts??? Used with a red LED, this would make the perfect "walk around the house at night with-out waking up your wife light", and you'd be getting rid of all those "dead" cells you have laying around.
    2. Depends on the LED...they do make some that can handle 6 "AA Volts", but you could probably get a 4.5 volt one, and run it pretty good off a fresh RCR123/CR123. The 5mm will fry pretty easily if over charged, but I will try one with a fresh (3.25volt) CR123 and let ya know what happens.

    I still have some kinks to work to make it better/more effcient, but the intial divide has been forged . I'm gonna try taking the LED out and get some better pictures of actually routing, and frosting the LED to get a more pleasant beam, as the 5mm led's are pretty blotchy.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Quote Originally Posted by arjay View Post
    nice mod! can we get some beamshots?
    Lemme frost the bulb first, and then I'll get a beam shot up...the beam is pretty crappy stock...that's what ya get for 5 LED's for $1.50 from Radio Shack

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    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Suhweet. I have 2 P60s' that are brand new that no one wanted when I tried to sell them. I may have to sacrifice one to try this..... now when need to find an ultra cheap host like a piece of PVC pipe we can screw a cap down on to make contact or something. Now do you think I could use the 5mm LEDs' out of one of those cheapie keychain lights that are being run on 6v?
    FAILURE TO PLAN ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MY PART.

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    Flashaholic* bullfrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Very cool mod - thanks for sharing!!!





    Have a good source for cheap yet bright 3v 5mm LEDs? The ones from Radio Shack are VERY dim...
    ...as for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me, in a fine state, fat and flourishing, a true hog of Epicurus' herd...
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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    well your this mod is so good I tried it myslf with a twist....

    I used some Ultrafire P60 bulbs with 2 5mm LEDs pulled from DX fauxtons. A 22000 mcd white one and a flashing one...

    Now the se Chinese bulbs have a different construction…the bulb pins are soldered on a PCB which in turn is soldered on a brass pill, which in turn screws in the reflector….that PCB Has solder pads for the springs on the other end..My mod assembly was like that only I added some thermal glue on the pin ends to avoid any shorts…here are the pics






    ETA: I forgot to mention that you do not really have to seperate the pill from the board..You can insert the LED pins from the front all right...

    angleofwar thanks so much for the idea...
    Last edited by kosPap; 07-29-2009 at 02:22 AM.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Quote Originally Posted by bullfrog View Post
    Very cool mod - thanks for sharing!!!

    Have a good source for cheap yet bright 3v 5mm LEDs? The ones from Radio Shack are VERY dim...
    Nice Light, Bull Frog. My newborn just got out of the hospital the other day (4 Days old now!!!), so I haven't had a chance to get up to radio shack for some new white one's yet. last time I went, I believe they carried some Nichia's. I'm still working on tweeking it, but with all you CPF'ers tryin' this, we should get some useful input! Thanks again to everyone who tried this.

    not sure where to get more premium 5mm's...I'm sure some-one on here has a decent source?

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* MarNav1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Great idea! Good thinking sir!
    Reality is usually scoffed at and illusion is usually king. But in the battle for survival of western civilization it will be reality and not illusion or delusion that determines what the future will bring.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    I'll have to try this with Nichia GS and one of those chinese bulbs...

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Well, finally made it up to Radio Shack...the winner appears to be the "5mm-High Brightness LED's" (P/N 276-0017). Rated at 7000MCD, with a voltage range of 3.3V and 3.6 (max).

    I'm doing a pseudo-runtime now using a RCR 123 that read 3.38volts at start...it's been going for 1h48m with no signs of loss in lumens. It's about as bright as my older Inova X1 (5-7 lumens by my guesstimate), and is plenty for finding my way around the garage.

    Once again, this isn't supposed to be a pocket rocket...just a way to safely get rid of your old cells, and for extended power-outages, and save your pocket-rockets for when things get busy. It can also double as a back-up bulb if your incan (or even led) goes down, and will let more people get use out of their 3P's. Speaking, I might have to get one, if they weren't so expensive...

    Nice lights so far...I might have to break one of my crappy P60's to get a new green 5mm I got...those appear to have a higher voltage and be more useable than the yellow's/red's. Plus, they're close in tint to the LED's on the A2-YG. I also grabbed a 10mm high-white...gonna try plugging those into a PR based buld, and see if I can make my own nite-ize drop-ins

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    Flashaholic* bullfrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Hi Angelofwar - thank you and CONGRATULATIONS on your child!!!!!


    The next generation of flashaholics

    I was two seconds away from buying that same 5mm high brightness LED from radioshack but the only one they had was opened and missing one of the two LEDs - who steals LEDs

    Good to know its a winner!

    I think I'm going to hunt for a higher brightness green as well - the green I have in now is maybe half a lumen... still enough for a totally dark room but not the best...
    ...as for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me, in a fine state, fat and flourishing, a true hog of Epicurus' herd...
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    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Oh, the High-Brightness White's (5mm) I mentioned appear to draw 25mA...so this thing may run forever??? Off 1 Primary123 or a RCR123, you have the perfect long run-time emergency light....

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    3h40m running, single RCR123 is still sitting at 3.27volts (down .11 volts)...no detectable drop in brightness...I'm gonna leave it on over night and see how she fares...

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    Flashaholic* Chrontius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    You know, I'll ship you guys (with working P60s to be sacrificed) blown lamp assemblies if you'll ship me your sacrificial, but working P60s. I'll pay for shipping both ways.

    Edit: I only have, IIRC, two blown modules.
    Last edited by Chrontius; 07-30-2009 at 09:26 PM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Shoot me a PM Chronitus...

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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Hmmm... this calls for a Solarforce L2M project!


    * looks into wallet *
    Last edited by M@elstrom; 07-31-2009 at 03:50 AM.
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Good Morning...12h01m...Not much drop in brightness...still about 5 lumens bright..maybe 4...cell is sitting at 3.20volts (.18 drop over 12hrs...and plenty to go...). I can still use it to navigate my garage easily...will update at about the 20 hour mk...

    Maelstrom, what's the solarforce L2M project???

  29. #29
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Quote Originally Posted by bullfrog View Post
    Very cool mod - thanks for sharing!!!
    Hey Bullfrog, is that your FM 3P-type body you were trying to sell a while back? After you parted that light out for me back then, I'm guessing that body isn't for sale after this thread, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Well, finally made it up to Radio Shack...the winner appears to be the "5mm-High Brightness LED's" (P/N 276-0017). Rated at 7000MCD, with a voltage range of 3.3V and 3.6 (max).
    [...]
    Oh, the High-Brightness White's (5mm) I mentioned appear to draw 25mA...so this thing may run forever??? Off 1 Primary123 or a RCR123, you have the perfect long run-time emergency light....
    So to make sure I have things straight, you can't run a fully charged LiIon on this without frying the LED, right, too much voltage (4.2v -> 3.7v under a 'normal' load, but this particular application is pretty much zero load I'm guessing)? Otherwise I'd love to give this little guy a fresh AW18650 and let'r rip...
    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Hmmm... this calls for a Solarforce L2M project!
    +1, I've now been perusing Jake25's site...
    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Good Morning...12h01m...Not much drop in brightness...still about 5 lumens bright..maybe 4...cell is sitting at 3.20volts (.18 drop over 12hrs...and plenty to go...). I can still use it to navigate my garage easily...will update at about the 20 hour mk...
    One thought, such a low current draw should defeat the low-voltage protection circuit on RCR's such as AW's. Theoretically, doing a deep-discharge might damage your cell (albeit after a week of runtime or something...).
    Last edited by Kestrel; 07-31-2009 at 01:50 PM.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build yer own "Battery Vampire" with a P60

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    Do you need a bezel with Pyrex or the lexan on the stock G2 can handle this upgrade?
    LMAO!!! I recommend a sapphire lens...my lexan vaporised as soon as I hit the T/C, and then the body of my 6P started melting...

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