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Thread: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* gallonoffuel's Avatar
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    Default Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Hey guys, I am not a diver but apparently my father was once-upon-a-time. he pulled out this large yellow aluminum dive light that was in pretty rough shape. I would like to restore it as a conversation piece and a project, but it needs a few things.

    The light was complete when I received it, with carbon-zinc batteries still in it. They ruptured at some point and the entire inside was filled with dust from the battery cases and their internals. I have scrubbed out the light as best I could, but the battery holder should not be trusted. I would like to make my own battery case and power it with some other source, the internal volume is very large and can hold some modern batteries. The switch is a reed type i believe, there is an external magnet that slides forward and activates the internal switch. Can I get a new internal switch for this from some supplier? I see other reed switches for around $12 on McMaster that seem like they can handle some decent current for an LED mod.

    The rubber gasket was in good shape, but the lens seems to have stress cracks in it, which I will have a friend cnc me a new one.

    I will probably strip the case and give it a fresh coat of bright yellow paint and use it for kayak fishing or just showing off. They dont seem to bring much money in the current market so I don't really mind tinkering with it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Quote Originally Posted by gallonoffuel View Post
    Hey guys, I am not a diver but apparently my father was once-upon-a-time. he pulled out this large yellow aluminum dive light that was in pretty rough shape. I would like to restore it as a conversation piece and a project, but it needs a few things.

    The light was complete when I received it, with carbon-zinc batteries still in it. They ruptured at some point and the entire inside was filled with dust from the battery cases and their internals. I have scrubbed out the light as best I could, but the battery holder should not be trusted. I would like to make my own battery case and power it with some other source, the internal volume is very large and can hold some modern batteries. The switch is a reed type i believe, there is an external magnet that slides forward and activates the internal switch. Can I get a new internal switch for this from some supplier? I see other reed switches for around $12 on McMaster that seem like they can handle some decent current for an LED mod.

    The rubber gasket was in good shape, but the lens seems to have stress cracks in it, which I will have a friend cnc me a new one.

    I will probably strip the case and give it a fresh coat of bright yellow paint and use it for kayak fishing or just showing off. They dont seem to bring much money in the current market so I don't really mind tinkering with it.

    Thanks!
    Sounds like a nice project. I've been tempted to build a nice bright LED into one of these for a long time. But for a more historically accurate job, you'd find an old auto headlamp. I think that's what they used to use. I'm sure some of my old-timer buddies would know. Taking a little liberty, a P7, MCE, or SST90 would be pretty sweet!

    For up to 3A, this would be a cheaper reed switch: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...&name=HE517-ND

    But really, beyond an amp or two, you are better off using a FET in conjunction with the reed switch. Since the FET carries all the power, the reed switch will last forever. A low power reed like this would suffice: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...&name=HE555-ND. Along with a FET like this: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...IRLB8748PBF-ND and a resistor, it would be good up to 15V and 15A, more or less. Higher voltage and/or current are readily available. If this looks interesting, check the forums for schematics, or I can help with that.

    D

  3. #3

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Sounds like a nice project.

    Without room constraints your options are limitless.

    When stripping the paint, if you intend on sand blasting I saw a neat restoration trick where crushed walnuts were used instead of sand. It eats the paint and not the metal.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* gallonoffuel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Quote Originally Posted by Codiak View Post
    Sounds like a nice project.

    Without room constraints your options are limitless.

    When stripping the paint, if you intend on sand blasting I saw a neat restoration trick where crushed walnuts were used instead of sand. It eats the paint and not the metal.
    The internal volume of this thing is cavernous. I can easily stick a 7.2v RC battery pack in lengthwise, and it looks like I could shove about 4 of them inside the light.

    I generally do keep walnut shells in my blast cabinet for this purpose, rarely do I need the abrasiveness of sand. However, in this case the sand might make for a nice texture on the light. I'll try the shells first and see how it looks!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    I used to have one of the cement versions (at least that is what I was told it was made of) that weighed a friggen ton back in the day. If I can ever find the thing, I can strip it for parts. I'll let you know if I locate it.
    McGizmo & Malkoff fan!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Do you have any photos of it?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    If I did, it wouldn't be with the light by itself. Also, they would need to be scanned. No digital cameras back then!

    The light would be tucked away in the attic of my parent's house if they did manage to keep it around. I'm supposed to stop by my dad's place in late May or early June.
    McGizmo & Malkoff fan!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hiddiv...31086/pic/list

    ...has a nice 2006 resto-mod of the kind of light you are talking about. I don't think you will be able to see it without becoming a member of the group. There is some good info on there as well. There are lots of pictures of projects....mostly all related to HID dive lights.

    I was a member of that group long before I took the CPF plunge.

  9. #9
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Hey, I just got one of these lights. Please post if you find any decent mods or other good ideas...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Hello gallonoffuel, DIWdiver, Codiak, BigHonu, wes_wall & lightlvr ... it's been a good while since y'all have been in here discussing this ... hopefully, I can reach one / some / all of you ...

    ... found gallonoffuel's thread while searching 'DARRELL-ALLAN SPORT- DIVER 250' ...

    I am trying to rebuild one of these lights (mine has a yellow plastic housing) after finding internal damage from leakage from En*rg*z*r alkaline 'D' batteries (10) ... perhaps there is a valid reason why D.-A. specified CARBON ZINC batteries on the battery insertion orientation label? Rather than pursue a resto-mod using LEDs and modern battery technology, I'd like to repair this light back to its' orignal configuration ... even though the Yahoo! Group: heddivelights - LED DIve Light photos are more than interesting ... that whole package must be considerably lighter and the increased light output looks impressive ... but couldn't locate the specific discussion of those particular photos / mod.

    Anyways, I can find no markings on the still-working bulb ... presumably it is a 15VDC bulb ... it would be nice to confirm this and perhaps determine a bulb # (15VDC --> if all 10 'D' cells are in series, which they appear to have been ... the battery leakage resulted in detachment of the primary wires, significant damage to both sides of the contacts [wired side and battery side], the black foam rubber [neoprene?] that was used to provide contact tension - a small piece of same was placed under each battery contact, between it and the tan-coloured plastic battery holder and some spotting of the reflector surface).

    I'd also be interested to hear about the mods made to your lights gallonoffuel, DIWdiver & lightlvr ...

    Thanks, FFF

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Hello, and welcome to the forum!

    I eventually bought one (welded aluminum body) on eBay, but have never gotten around to modding it. Inside it were two bulbs in a bag marked "Allan Bulbs" in (probably) the owner's handwriting. These are type 965 bulbs, which are still readily available.

    Type 965 bulbs are rated 0.5A at 9.84V. This leads me to speculate that carbon-zinc may have been specified so that the internal resistance of the batteries would minimize the overdrive on the bulb. This could be pretty important as the rated life of a modern 965 bulb is only 20 hours without being overdriven. You might also consider a type 500 which has the same voltage and current specs, but 200 hour life. Or an MS-1205 which is the same wattage at 12V. It has a larger filament, so the beam would be more floody.

    I have a black plastic battery holder which also has the wires detached. I guess they were broken rather than corroded. Except for the foam under the contacts it's in pretty good shape. I might consider donating it and the bulbs to your cause if you are interested.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Hey DIWdiver ... thanks very much for posting a Reply to gallonoffuel's old thread and my post in it ...

    ... your info on the 965 bulb is greatly appreciated ... I have otherwise not been able to develop specs or other info for it ... and the carbon-zinc rationale you have put forward makes perfect sense to me ... I was dubious about the bulb being rated for 15VDC (I've never heard of such an animal) ... the 'overdrive' / bulb life-span factors explain things nicely for me ...

    I would gladly take you up on your offer to donate the project light, ect. you have ... where in the world are you? I'm in Tsawwassen, B.C., Canada, however, I am only 8 blocks North of Point Roberts, WA 98281 and get stuff sent there all the time ... it's generally far cheaper and avoids all the customs hassles for goods coming out of the U.S. ... UPS Ground seems to be the best choice ... let me know what zip you're in and I can work out the shipping expense ... could compensate you for shipping with PayPal? or ?

    Thanks again eh ... FFF

  13. #13

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    ... oops ... DIWdiver, I see you're in Connecticut ... now that I re-visited the thread after posting ... plus ... I think I'm still subject to moderation here, so, you'll see these last two posts of mine in due course ... FFF

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Okay.

    I think it would be appropriate to take this offline at this point, so email me at dlburdette "at" juno (with a dotcom) and we can work out the details.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Darrell Allen vintage dive light resto

    Rog DIWdiver ... look for an e-mail from me ... FFF

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