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Thread: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

  1. #1

    Default Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    Either made up from scratch, or tail switch adaptations, imagine and explain the most effective ways you can think of to give a Mad Max or Mad Maxine a light to pass on to the future leaders of their clans...

    Solar cells and capacitors, hand crank (with some solid circuitry to buffer cranking irregularities), compressed air or steam powered mini turbines, piezoelectric, bio luminescent, what are your thoughts?

    I'm thinking that there is a mature (and maybe relatively low efficiency) solar cell out there that will last considerably longer than the common 20 year rating, that could be seated behind some tempered glass with over engineered capacitor banks and fitted with the most efficient LED available... maybe the switch is the weak link in the end?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    I'm thinking a high power LED driven at low currents with a capacitor and a resistor or something simple to keep the voltage in check. The charging will be a shake light with magnets at the ends so the moving magnet never touches the ends. The tube in which the magnet sits in will be Teflon coated and vacuum sealed. The entire contraption will be in a metal tube and the empty spaces willed with foam (so dents won't beak any of the circuitry). Not sure how I could make it turn on and off reliably for the next thousand years though.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    The weakness is batteries.

    The cell will either die or wear out.

    With a direct drive solar light, it would only work in daytime which defeats the purpose.

    Best bet is just to store 1,000 lithium cells. they last 10+ years.

    After a major end of the world mad max scenario, 10 years will feel like forever anyways.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    I thought capacitors had an extremely long life span. I like Gunner's idea.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    I'm thinking that the LED, driver and capacitor system could be it's own single unit, with serious work put into regulating electricity incoming. From there a series of more and less practical, durable, ReBuildable power supplies could be used to charge it... a crank generator seems about ideal to me if the charging power could be made smooth/safe for the long term.

    Those shake lights are cool, there is just so little return for the effort involved.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    Being as its the future, and its mad max, i think I would have to have two headlights, mounted on the front of my 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe.... or at the very least an XC Interceptor
    mossyoak --> Dear God man, its your honeymoon, screw the flashlights, bring one or two and some backup batteries, and fill up all that extra room you have with condoms and alcohol.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    I would have to go along with shake light/capacitor idea with regards to a production light at least.I have one of the Nightstar models and it seems to be well made,should hold up for a long time barring abuse.The downfall of course is the anemic output but in a world without power even a little light in the dark can be a big asset.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Thoughts on a "Forever Light"

    right ZMZ67, and it looks like they have gotten better as well. I'm going to have to check one out again.
    they have a pretty neat site, red and green, and developing world charity models too. search appliedinnotech.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic Apollo Cree's Avatar
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    Default Capacitors

    Some capacitors have limited lifetimes. This is especially true of electrolytic capacitors, which are the type you'd want to use in a light, because they have higher capacity.

    If you get any antique radio gear, electrolytic capacitors are very often a problem when you try to power them back on.

    The more recent "super" capacitors apparently have a lot of "black magic" in them. Some of the clone manufacturers didn't get the full recipe and left out the bat wings from the potion and caused a lot of computer motherboards to go bad.

    There might be some supercapacitors or "mortal" electrolytic capacitors that have really long lifetimes, but only time will tell. This is especially true since the supercapacitors are a fairly new technology.
    If once you start down the light path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Capacitors

    well we gotta figure out which ones got the right recipe.
    very interesting Apollo Cree.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Capacitors

    If the capacitor at least has a very long life then the shakelight should last many years.Unfortunately I really don't know anything about the capacitor that Nightstar lights use but I am certain they are at least real.I do know that there are a lot of "fake" shakelights in circualation that use coin cell batteries so buyers should be aware.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capacitors

    1- Find a working LED flashlight head that works in direct drive or plain low-powered LED (LED bulb replacements for incans would work best). The reason I pick LED is the durability, since you want this to last long enough to pass down.

    2- Get a small potery container, some nickel and some zinc (other metal combinations can work as well). Put both in the potery container, making sure they don't touch each other, wire them to the LED or flashlight head and pour in any acidic liquid (lemon juice, tomato juice, anything acidic even battery acid). You might need 2 or 3 of those in series, though, but you now have light to last way past the apocalypse and as long as you can defend your clan from intruders. Easy to pass down, since any idiot should be able to just pour liquids in there and figure what works and what doesn't - provided they saw you use it a few times.

    Alternately, it might work if you just stick nickel and zinc leads into a potato, lemon or tomato but I'm thinking, since this is Mad MAx, you'll want to eat that.
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Capacitors

    here is a super capacitor flashlight with a solar panel in the body, just the switch to worry about now.
    I'll bet that it could be done better, tougher, brighter, etc.
    pretty cool.

    http://solareyinc.com/index.htm
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Capacitors

    Magnetic ring or slide switch. No light body penetration to leak.

    Perhaps a sealed ball cage switch with a magnet rotor ring to pull the ball into a detent away from the cage contact bars when you want it off?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Capacitors

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    Last edited by Foxfyre; 11-30-2011 at 07:38 AM. Reason: accidental double post

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