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Thread: relatively cheap solitare mod

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default relatively cheap solitare mod

    hey everybody. i have a m@glite solitare i would like to mod into an LED. it doesn't have to be super bright but rather just an LED that will be somewhat useful. im planning on using 3mm LED. i was trying to follow this mod from www.flashlightreviews.com but its a bit confusing. can someone help me out?
    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/mods/solitaire.htm
    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/mods/solitaire2.htm

    the main problem is i don't know what they're talking about. something about tabs and leads but i can't tell which of what he's talking about.
    thanks in advance

    can i just stick a 3mm into the socket, open the MN21/23 battery from the second link and add 3 of them into the solitare, add a space and then just leave it like that? or will i need other things to make it work right?
    Last edited by KSH92474; 03-02-2006 at 03:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* cratz2's Avatar
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Honestly, I've never done the MN21 or 23 mods. I did do this one though:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=102899

    It's still going strong though I'm trying to get a forum member to build be a resistor in the tailcap to lower the initial current draw for longer cell life and longer LED life.

    Alternately, I think that if you could deal with a red or amber LED, you might be able to get by with just a single primary lithium AAA cell and a single 3mm LED. Don't hold me to that though.
    "That's what makes SF so badass... we've got the best flashlights."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    I can't wait for this one to become available : http://home.mchsi.com/~lambda_lights/news.htm

    If it's up to his usual standards it'll be great!

  4. #4

    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    my awesome Solitaire MOD instructions.


    Last edited by Turbo_E; 03-02-2006 at 01:33 PM.
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Changchung's Avatar
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo_E
    my awesome Solitaire MOD instructions.


    Very good explanation....
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    did mine this way also...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    sounds cool and easy. where do i get the resistor and LED. if i don't have a drill press, what other options do i have on trying to enlarge the hole?

  8. #8

    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    a small round file may work If you use a 3mm then modding the reflector is not needed.
    i used a demel with a tiny abrasive bit. drilling may crack an already delicate reflector. its only plastic. i used a 26000 mcd 5mm LED

    the resistor is available at any electronics store. i have tried even lower valued resistors for even brighter light, however there is a limit to how much the LED can handle, also there is the runtime/heat to factor in.

    i have also seen another person use some kind of lithium battery that was AAA in size and required no resistor. i cannot find what kind of battery that was.
    "You...Light Up My Life...."

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* cratz2's Avatar
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Yeah, drilling the hole in the Solitaire reflector seems daunting. I've done it many times with the 2xAA Minimag reflectors, but on the Solitaires, I just alternated between using a XActo type knife and a round diamond fine. Was tedious, but it took me longer to get the reflector out of the head than it did to actually open up the reflector.

    If you want brightness, a Nichia CS is probably the way to go... Radically brighter than any 3mm LED I've ever used.
    "That's what makes SF so badass... we've got the best flashlights."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    ok. im planning to use a 26000mcd 5 mm LED. just what do all these numbers mean?
    Power Recommended Resistors 5V 90 Ohm 9V 330 Ohm 12V 470 Ohm
    and say i want to use them for other applications. how do i know what to use in order to make it work? such as how to calculate power source, and what size resistor to use. im really new at modding if you couldn't tell

    oh and i was planning on getting it here
    http://www.lck-led.com/product_info....products_id=69
    the reason why i wanted to know how to use them in other ways is cause im going to be buying 10



    also how do i find forward current and forward voltage?
    Last edited by KSH92474; 03-02-2006 at 08:22 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Has anybody tried the 3mm white 18,000mcd LED's available from jeledhk on eBay (link). I'm wondering how good these are. The given stats show 15,000 to 18,000mcd with a 30 degree viewing angle. They might be suitable for a solitare mod without needing as much modification to the reflector as a 5mm LED.

    I've been considering getting some to modify one of KevinL's picolights that use 3mm LED's.

    I saw somewhere that you can use 3mm LED's in a 2AA maglight without needing to drill the reflector since the bulb is the right size and can take 3V, but I don't know how well it works. Perhaps somebody who has tried it can comment.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* cratz2's Avatar
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    I've done a few mods to Minimags or minimag clones using 3mm LEDs, but not the ones you specifically listed. Everything worked out fine but keep in mind that 2 alkaline AA cells will instantly kill pretty much any red, orange, yellow or amber 3mm LED.

    Two of my favorite mods use a cyan/teal 3mm LED... one is in a minimag clone and one is in a Garrity 2xAAA stainless steel penlight.

    Generally the 3mm LEDs will drop in with absolutely no problem... I just tend to prefer 5mm LEDs when brightness is the goal. It's quite easy to open up the hole in the 2xAA Minimag reflector... I've done it using progressively larger drill bits and I've done it with a knife and a round diamond file... never ruined a single one. The Solitaire reflectors are a bit more tricky though.

    KSH92474, those numbers are the suggested resistors for use with different voltages. It's saying if you are going to run it with 5V, use a 90 Ohm resistor, if running it at 9V, use a 330 Ohm resistor and if running it at 12V, use a 470 Ohm resistor. I'd imagine those are absolutely 1,000% safe suggestions. As I said on my mod, the Nichia CS LEDs are spec'd to be run at 20ma, but I have 4 of them running directly off LiON cells where the initially pull 170ma or more so they are being driven 8 times as hard as they are supposed to be.

    Another consideration is, the more resistance, the dimmer the light will be, but the longer the runtime will be. If I was going to do the 12V mod, I'd probably initially use a 100 Ohm resistor and if the LED died within 10 battery changes, I'd change to a 330 Ohm resistor but I bet you'll see a LOT of use with the 100 Ohm resistor.
    "That's what makes SF so badass... we've got the best flashlights."

  13. #13

    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    I did the Solitare mod with the MN21/23 and a 26Kmcd a while back. You really don't need a resistor at all. I know it sound funny to use a 12 volt battery to power a 3.7Vf led but it works. The internal resistance of the battery keeps the current too low to cook the LED.

    When you drill out the hole in the plastic reflector, you can use a drill bit and a hand drill. Run the drill BACKWARDS. This keep the sharp edges of the drill bit from biting into the plastic. This way you can just hold the reflector in your hand. Still goes pretty fast. Start with a small bit and use increasingly larger ones until you get the size that you need.

    Use a piece of wood dowel as a spacer and just a piece of wire in the groove for connection at both ends.

    You will get a pretty bright light with less runtime.

    Hope this helps.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    i also have another question. what does a resistor do with all the extra energy it holds back? does it stay in the resistor? the battery? or does it somehow get discharged? and where can i get a wood dowel?

    and resistance drop off is the maximum forward voltage right?

    also where can i get 430 ohm resistors. theres one guy on ebay selling 100 of them for 0.99+2.25 shipping. is there something im missing here? i see everyone else selling them for about a buck a piece. i was planning on get 10 resistors, 10 26kcd LED. can anyone giude me to a source? i checked radioshacks online site but they didn't have any of 430ohm. thanks

    and whats the difference between 1/4W and 1/2W?

    and again what's 5% for?

    thanks for all your help
    Last edited by KSH92474; 03-03-2006 at 06:08 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Resistors work by using metal which have unbalanced electrons... these electrons want to balance with the protrons and this 'desire' is ionization. (At least I think this is called ionization... if not, it is extremely similar.) So basically, it dissapates the the extra energy but it doesn't consume it nearly as fast as the LED would so... more runtime.

    The 5% basically is a code for how far from the spec to the tolerance can be... for flashlight purposes, this means absolutely nothing.

    The difference between 1/2 watt and 1/4 watt is how much power the resistor is rated to safely handle. Again for 5mm LEDs, this is of basically zero importance.

    I can honestly say that I've never bought a resistor other than from Radio Shack. We used to have a HUGE hoard of them in first and second year physics, but I've only bought about 20 resistors in my life and never a 430 Ohm.

    I honestly think if I was going to do this mod, a 100 or 125 Ohm would be what I would try first and I think it would work just fine for you.

    You can buy wood dowels at hardware stores... ACE, Lowes, The Home Depot etc... And probably at hobby shoppes like Franks.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    where can you get 26000mcd 5mm LED bulbs?

  17. #17

    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    dowels are basicly a round piece of wood or anything non conductive. find em at Home depot.

    the 26000 MCD LED are found on ebay, theyre are brighter ones, but to my eyes, they are not better. i tried a 36000MCD its closer to sunlight color. the 26000 is slightly bluish, but to me seems brighter.

    THE LCK link above is the same seller on eBay. just buy direct.
    "You...Light Up My Life...."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    wow a lot of this is clearing up now guys. thanks

    now which LEDs can be over driven? i was just playing around i with a toy LED and purposely overdrove it. it lasted maybe for a minute or so. it was pretty cool. it used to shine orange but when overdriven, turned red.

    if i didn't really want to go for super brightness(im thinking about using snows now) should i just stick to 430 ohm resistors(which ill have to get online) or should i go for 100ohm? or better yet should i go down to my local radioshack and try one out?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    I tried the simple A23 mod and while it works the battery capacity is only 40mah or so - the runtime will be very short and it dims within a few minutes. Most of the power is wasted in the resistor since you are running a 3.6v Led from a 12 battery.

    I modded two Solitaires with 10440 320mah Li-ion batteries I bought from AW. One light has a 5.6ohm resistor in the tailcap and the other has 1 ohm. I use 5mm Nichia CS and the lights are pretty bright.

    Pull the little metal tube thing out of the tailcap and remove the spare bulb. I soldered one end of the resistor to the spring, put some heatshrink over the bottom half of the spring to insulate it and soldered the other end of the resistor to the metal tube thing. You have to drill the tailcap out a little bit to accomodate the heatshrink insulator. Stuff the spring/tube/resistor assembly back in and trim the heatshrink back with a sharp knife. The spring has to be insulated from the tailcap but you still want it to compress normally.

    Removing the reflector from the head is a real pain, I broke the little retaining fingers off both mine. I drilled it out by hand using a step drill which works very well. I also put a small ring of aluminum tube over the bottom of the reflector which makes it quite strong. If you don't do this the weakened reflector base may collapse when you screw the head down to turn off the light. If you broke the retaining fingers off you can just glue the reflector back in place.

    I found it neccessary to remove about 1/16" from the base of the led to prevent it from hitting the lens when you screw down the head. I chucked it in a drill with some rubber tubing over it for grip, and removed the epoxy with a dremel with a cutoff disk in it. The drill spins the led as a lathe and the dremel disk cuts away the epoxy like butter. Carefully remove the epoxy between the leads with the dremel. I thinned the leads down a bit too to better match the bulb lead dia.

    This mod works very well. If you shorten the 5mm led it will switch on almost exactly in focus, and the head screws right down snug just like the stock light. It quite bright but isn't a great thrower with the tiny Solitaire reflector. It gives a couple hours of bright light. You must be careful not to let the Li-ion battery run down too much tho or it will be ruined.

    A more difficult mod but still pretty cheap - $1 for the LED, $4.00 for the battery, and a few cents for the resistor and heatshrink.

    Rich

  20. #20

    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Here is my situation:

    3mm 15,000mcd LED
    Using MN21/23 battery for 8 LR923 button batteries
    Resistors (unknown ohm)

    My concern is, with (3) LR923 button batteries, you should not need any resistors for the 3mm led rated for 3.0~3.6v correct?

    The LR923 batteries have 9ohm resistor built into themselves already.

    So is it really necessary for a resistor in this case?

    Or, as a safety should one be used anyway?

    Is the resistor going to weaken the led power?

    Will the resistor shorten the battery life?

    Thanks for your responses.
    Last edited by scion; 07-31-2009 at 10:03 AM. Reason: spelling

  21. #21

    Default Re: relatively cheap solitare mod

    Quote Originally Posted by billsea View Post
    I did the Solitare mod with the MN21/23 and a 26Kmcd a while back. You really don't need a resistor at all. I know it sound funny to use a 12 volt battery to power a 3.7Vf led but it works. The internal resistance of the battery keeps the current too low to cook the LED.

    When you drill out the hole in the plastic reflector, you can use a drill bit and a hand drill. Run the drill BACKWARDS. This keep the sharp edges of the drill bit from biting into the plastic. This way you can just hold the reflector in your hand. Still goes pretty fast. Start with a small bit and use increasingly larger ones until you get the size that you need.

    Use a piece of wood dowel as a spacer and just a piece of wire in the groove for connection at both ends.

    You will get a pretty bright light with less runtime.

    Hope this helps.
    Did you take apart he battery and use 3 the LR923's found inside? Or did you just use thewhole battery (12v) to power re LED?
    Was it a 3mm led or a 5mm led you used?
    Thanks!

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