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Thread: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

  1. #1

    Default Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    I was perusing my collection and am giddy that my sd4a can take a d-cell, 11,000mah, nimh battery, as well as AA's in the supplied battery carrier. i know my rechargeable maglites can ditch the battery pack for c-cell or d-cell alkalines in a pinch, but are there other lights out there that are as flexible?
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    With the right spacers and/or dummy cells, much can be done with a Malkoff MD3. This is not an exhaustive list, but off the top of my head:

    3xCR123
    2xCR123
    1xCR123
    2x18500
    2xAA
    2xAAA


    This platform also allows for the use of different light engines, depending on the input voltage.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
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    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Ya also an 18650 with spacer. Itís a versatile tube right there.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    The Fenix CL20 lantern, now, apparently, discontinued, will take either 2xAA, or 1xCR123a. Glad I got one.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    There are a lot of lights that are designed for AA/14500 or AAA/10440. like the Nitecore EA11. Of course, for almost any AA or AAA light you will find some users that will swear that a 14500/10440 cell will work 'just fine'.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    The Streamlight PROTAC 1L-1AA can use AA or CR123.
    The Nitecore SRT3 use CR123 batteries and comes with an extender to be able to use AA batteries.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Peak Logan with the 18500 battery tube will run on any thing you can get to fit. A little aluminum foil and some paper for shielding and you're all set.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    -- Albert Einstein

  8. #8

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    I like multi fuel lights. Just about any D cell device can be fed with AA's with an adapter, C cells only require a simple spacer tube to run AA's because AA's are about the same length as C cells. There are also 4D to 6 Volt adapters for 6V lanterns.

    Streamlight's 1L-1AA and Compact II are designed to run on AA's or CR123's and AAA's will work as well.

    The most versatile lights with regards to batteries that I have are an old 2D Mag and a 2D Fulton moonbeam with Nite Ize 74 and 55 lumen LED drop ins which will accommodate 2 to 9 Volts and with some adapters that I 3D printed I can use:

    2 D cells

    2 C cells (in 2D to 2C adapter)

    1 18650 (in 2C to 18650 adapter with the 2D to 2C adapter)

    2 CR123's or 2 16340's (using the above adapters)

    2 AA's or 2 14500's (in 2 C to 2 AA adapter).

    2 AAA's or 2 10440's (in above adapters with a 2 AA to 2 AAA adapter sleeve)

    - that's 9 different battery types, not counting similar variations such as 16 or 17650s or a few odd battery sizes which I have not tried, but would likely work, such as 3 N batteries in place of 2 AA's or 3 CR2's in place of the 18650.



    Again, this is made possible by the Nite Ize drop-ins which will handle the Voltage range of these battery combinations.





    Charles Artificer on youtube took all of this to the next level with adapters he made out of lathe turned PVC:




    Ö. and with a 1-9 Volt LED drop-in and an improved set of adapters he made can even run on single 1.5 Volt cells and 9 Volt batteries!


  9. #9

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Zebralight SC80, though discontinued. I wish I had picked one up when they were out.
    Click Here to view my lights

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Nice set-up xxo,I like the printed adapters! Illustrates the versatility of conventional D cell lights and LED drop-ins very well. 3AA to D adapters are available in either parallel or series and work nicely as well. Another plus using LED drop-ins is that you can often carry a spare drop-in in the light in the rare event of a failure or if you want a different type of output available that another drop-in may offer.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  11. #11

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    Nice set-up xxo,I like the printed adapters! Illustrates the versatility of conventional D cell lights and LED drop-ins very well. 3AA to D adapters are available in either parallel or series and work nicely as well. Another plus using LED drop-ins is that you can often carry a spare drop-in in the light in the rare event of a failure or if you want a different type of output available that another drop-in may offer.
    Thanks.

    It is amazing that these drop ins work on such a wide range of Voltages!

    I normally use the 3AA to D adapters in D cell lights, but I originally printed the 18650 and 2 AA adapters for 2C lights and I printed the 2C to 2D adapter so that I could use them in 2D lights like the moonbeam and incan Mag.

    The incan bulbs still have their uses - I run 6 cell Mag xenon bulbs in the moonbeam and 2D Mag with either 2 3AA to D series adapters (9 Volts) or with the 2 14500's in the above adapters - this is nice and bright and works great with IR filters for night vision devices or with blue lenses for blood tracking. LEDs won't work with IR lenses or blue lenses for tracking, incans are needed for this!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    Thanks.

    It is amazing that these drop ins work on such a wide range of Voltages!

    I normally use the 3AA to D adapters in D cell lights, but I originally printed the 18650 and 2 AA adapters for 2C lights and I printed the 2C to 2D adapter so that I could use them in 2D lights like the moonbeam and incan Mag.

    The incan bulbs still have their uses - I run 6 cell Mag xenon bulbs in the moonbeam and 2D Mag with either 2 3AA to D series adapters (9 Volts) or with the 2 14500's in the above adapters - this is nice and bright and works great with IR filters for night vision devices or with blue lenses for blood tracking. LEDs won't work with IR lenses or blue lenses for tracking, incans are needed for this!
    I have been a huge fan of LED drop-ins for a long time now,that voltage range is great providing a lot options. Honestly I get just as excited about lights like your Fulton with an LED drop-in as I do new cutting edge lights.One of my favorites,the old Dorcy Lux I drop-ins will run on a single AAA and up to 8V IIRC. Old tech but it has a great voltage range and really got me hooked on LED drop-ins.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  13. #13

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    I have been a huge fan of LED drop-ins for a long time now,that voltage range is great providing a lot options. Honestly I get just as excited about lights like your Fulton with an LED drop-in as I do new cutting edge lights.One of my favorites,the old Dorcy Lux I drop-ins will run on a single AAA and up to 8V IIRC. Old tech but it has a great voltage range and really got me hooked on LED drop-ins.
    These old Fulton lights are a lot of fun and with a LED drop in still very practical. Charles Artificer's series of youtube vids have a lot of good info on these. I find that the Nite Ize 55 lumen drop in is a good fit with the old moonbeam, bright enough for most uses with this light, which is not much of a thrower. I find the 74 lumen version not to be much brighter to my eye than the 55 lumen version in this light, though it does do better in the more tightly focusable 2D Mag. I tried a current Dorcy 2 cell/3V 30 lumen drop-in and it was not all that bright especially on NiMH's with slightly lower than 3 Volts and REALLY bright on a 18650 which seems to me is likely direct drive and is under driven with less than 3V and over driven with anything more. The Nite Ize drop-ins seem to be about the same brightness from 2 to 9 Volts, indicating good regulation.
    Last edited by xxo; 10-05-2018 at 04:06 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    These old Fulton lights are a lot of fun and with a LED drop in still very practical. Charles Artificer's series of youtube vids have a lot of good info on these. I find that the Nite Ize 55 lumen drop in is a good fit with the old moonbeam, bright enough for most uses with this light, which is not much of a thrower. I find the 74 lumen version not to be much brighter to my eye than the 55 lumen version in this light, though it does do better in the more tightly focusable 2D Mag. I tried a current Dorcy 2 cell/3V 30 lumen drop-in and it was not all that bright especially on NiMH's with slightly lower than 3 Volts and REALLY bright on a 18650 which seems to me is likely direct drive and is under driven with less than 3V and over driven with anything more. The Nite Ize drop-ins seem to be about the same brightness from 2 to 9 Volts, indicating good regulation.
    Maybe I'll play around with a Fulton this weekend. I have always liked the light but the switches didn't hold up very well when I used them years ago in the army so I haven't messed with them too much.The Nite-Ize seem to be a really good value overall and can be conveniently found at places like Home Depot. I already have a small stock on hand figuring they may eventually abandon or change the drop-ins in the future like Dorcy did. Unfortunately improvements are not guaranteed when companies update lights/products. Your results with the Dorcy drop-in are a good illustration. The original Dorcy drop-ins that I referenced had wide voltage range using what was a current power LED for that time in the LUX I.They still hold up pretty well today even if they can't match up to CREE drop-ins available now. The models Dorcy sells now are simple 10MM LEDs with a narrow operating voltage and worse tint than even the old LUX I.They are fine for what they are and I still use them but they don't measure up the Nite-Ize models or even the original Dorcy LUX I. I really wish they offered drop-ins in neutral/warm but it doesn't seem likely any company will invest in such a product since LED lights have pretty much taken over the market now. I have a few warm low output drop-ins with E10 screw bases but none with a PR base.
    Last edited by ZMZ67; 10-05-2018 at 06:41 PM.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by Sos24 View Post
    The Streamlight PROTAC 1L-1AA can use AA or CR123.
    The Nitecore SRT3 use CR123 batteries and comes with an extender to be able to use AA batteries.
    While I have been on a tangent of sorts posting about drop-ins the Protac 1L-1AA is a pretty good light for someone looking for battery flexibility and deserves a second. Around $40 it isn't too expensive and offers a programmable UI to suit a variety users. It can use lithium and alkaline primary AAs,NiMH rechargeables and CR123 primaries. CR123s give it higher performance and no special adapter or battery tube is necessary.

    Another dual battery light from Streamlight that is a favorite of mine is the Sidewinder Compact II. It has the same advantage of using either AA or CR123 without the need for a separate adapter. The Sidewinder is more expensive and has limited output but it incorporates 3 5MM LEDs in addition to the main LED. The selector ring and switch offer one of the better multi-mode UIs I have encountered. Certainly I would have several lights if I were a soldier these days but the Sidewinder modified with a filter is probably the one I would have attached to my LBE.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Crazyeddiethefirst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Donít forget the Sunwayman V11r, 16340 & 14500. I have the Zebralight SC80 aa well. I also have a Brass UBH II(Universal Battery Holder), it is Surefire E series compatible and depending on the led or incandescent you use it can run off 1 or 2 CR123, 16340ís or 1 or 1 AA,AAA, 14500 or 10440 cells using the included spacers. I also have the SRT mentioned above(I am big on multi power options). I also have an assortment of chargers that can be powered by AAA, AA, 18650 or 2 16340ís that can charge using USB or magnetic connect cables...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by Sos24 View Post
    The Streamlight PROTAC 1L-1AA can use AA or CR123.
    The Nitecore SRT3 use CR123 batteries and comes with an extender to be able to use AA batteries.
    The 1L1AA will work with aaa too. I use an Olight rcr123 in mine. Low is 150 and high is still 350 is the only difference.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Lumintop SD10. Takes 1D, 3AA, 1,2 or 3AA (1.5v) with A-D adapter, 18650, 26650, 32650, CR123 with magnets and some wrapper (or adapter if there is one out there).

    Edit: also AAA if you have AAA->AA adapter-> D adapter.
    Last edited by dealgrabber2002; 10-17-2018 at 05:10 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    I did a video on this. As for lights setup for this the CL20 Fenix lantern will take 2XAA or 1XCR123. The Fenix HL50 headlamp will take 1XAA or 1XCR123.


  20. #20

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Cool Vid. Thanks!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Nice video WW! Just curious,have you considered a D cell light like xxo's Fulton with adapters for your bag? I know it is rather large in comparison to your other lights but would allow the use of D and C batteries as well. Any decent quality plastic 2D industrial incan with a LED drop-in would work and still not add too much weight as long as you don't carry the C and D batteries with you.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  22. #22

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    I am thinking of printing a 9 Volt to 2C adapter for the Nite Ized Fulton.....I designed it already (it's a bit different than Charles Artificer's 9 Volt adapter in his vid), but I don't have a lot of 9 Volt batts or things that use them so, I am not sure if I will bother making it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    I am thinking of printing a 9 Volt to 2C adapter for the Nite Ized Fulton.....I designed it already (it's a bit different than Charles Artificer's 9 Volt adapter in his vid), but I don't have a lot of 9 Volt batts or things that use them so, I am not sure if I will bother making it.
    You started me thinking xxo,as an alternative to a 9V adapter you could remove the spare bulb holder in the tail cap and place a Pak-lite (sans battery of course) upright in the empty space. I tried and it fits easily still leaving room for a spare bulb or drop-in should you so desire,just need to cut some foam to keep them from rattling around.The Fulton wouldn't be able to use 9V itself but you would have a spare,long running stand alone flashlight should you come across a 9V battery.

    BTW I dropped a 55 lumen in my Fulton and it focuses very nicely. I will try and come up with some adapters for C cells and CR123s, already have what I need for AA and AAA. Probably cut a piece of LEE filter and fit it as well to warm up the tint a bit closer to my preference.Since reading your post I think I will get a few more Bright Star (Koehler) old school industrial incans while they are still available and make up some multi-battery car kits.I don't have enough Fultons for that task and they tend to be higher priced these days when you do find them.
    Last edited by ZMZ67; 10-22-2018 at 11:35 AM.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  24. #24

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    You started me thinking xxo,as an alternative to a 9V adapter you could remove the spare bulb holder in the tail cap and place a Pak-lite (sans battery of course) upright in the empty space. I tried and it fits easily still leaving room for a spare bulb or drop-in should you so desire,just need to cut some foam to keep them from rattling around.The Fulton wouldn't be able to use 9V itself but you would have a spare,long running stand alone flashlight should you come across a 9V battery.

    BTW I dropped a 55 lumen in my Fulton and it focuses very nicely. I will try and come up with some adapters for C cells and CR123s, already have what I need for AA and AAA. Probably cut a piece of LEE filter and fit it as well to warm up the tint a bit closer to my preference.Since reading your post I think I will get a few more Bright Star (Koehler) old school industrial incans while they are still available and make up some multi-battery car kits.I don't have enough Fultons for that task and they tend to be higher priced these days when you do find them.
    Good idea! there is a good bit of space where the bulb holder goes.

    There are still some deals to be found on the fultons on ebay, especially if you are looking for more than one. BTW, most fultons will run on C cells without an adapter, the tail spring is just long enough to make contact, though a couple quarters dropped in before the tail cap is screwed on will add a bit of tension.

    Running CR123's is a bit trickier because of the shorter length, smaller diameter and in that the spring may not contact the base of the CR123's without bending it or adding something to make contact, I got around this last one with the 2C to 2D adapter which has a washer on the base to make contact with D cell lights (Fulton, Mag and others) without modifications. The round head screw I used for the positive end of the 18650 to 2C adapter and the nut on the inside allows me to use button top of flat top 18650's.....only problem is there is no reverse polarity protection with this adapter, though I think the Nite Ize drop-ins are designed to work with reversed polarity.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Iíve got a Zebralight SC80 which has a reversible adaptor in the battery compartment that allows it to run on either one AA or one CR123. Itís quite a neat idea - but I donít use it much as it seems to suffer from quite bad parasitic drain and the light is usually dead when I want to use it!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    Good idea! there is a good bit of space where the bulb holder goes.

    There are still some deals to be found on the fultons on ebay, especially if you are looking for more than one. BTW, most fultons will run on C cells without an adapter, the tail spring is just long enough to make contact, though a couple quarters dropped in before the tail cap is screwed on will add a bit of tension.

    Running CR123's is a bit trickier because of the shorter length, smaller diameter and in that the spring may not contact the base of the CR123's without bending it or adding something to make contact, I got around this last one with the 2C to 2D adapter which has a washer on the base to make contact with D cell lights (Fulton, Mag and others) without modifications. The round head screw I used for the positive end of the 18650 to 2C adapter and the nut on the inside allows me to use button top of flat top 18650's.....only problem is there is no reverse polarity protection with this adapter, though I think the Nite Ize drop-ins are designed to work with reversed polarity.
    I am not sure the CR123 option is a big deal for me anyway but I thought it would be worth experimenting. You have to use some care with multiples of CR123s anyway as mis-matched batteries can do far worse than leak. Covering the common consumer sizes is my biggest concern. I can still get the Bright Stars for less than $10 ea. new and the conventional design works a little better with traffic wands than the angle head design for car use.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  27. #27

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    I am not sure the CR123 option is a big deal for me anyway but I thought it would be worth experimenting. You have to use some care with multiples of CR123s anyway as mis-matched batteries can do far worse than leak. Covering the common consumer sizes is my biggest concern. I can still get the Bright Stars for less than $10 ea. new and the conventional design works a little better with traffic wands than the angle head design for car use.
    Good points, I was going to get or make a dummy CR123 cell, but I might just make an adapter specifically for single CR123's, though I doubt that I will use it all that much, though CR123's can sometimes be scrounged from things like wireless alarm systems and game cameras.

    I have a 2nd gen LED Mag 3D in my vehicle along with a Mag traffic wand and as much as I dislike strobe for other thins, I kinda wish I had a strobe function for use with the traffic wand.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    It seems doubtful I would use CR123s in the Fulton either. I have plenty of lights that take them and almost always one with me, just interested in having a single light that covers all the bases.

    Maybe you need to invest in a 3rd gen Mag,I think it has the strobe. I generally try to keep relatively cheap unremarkable lights in my cars just because break-ins and theft have increased over the years. I don't know if I would be willing to leave one of the new $40+ Mags in my car but it would give you a lot of features.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  29. #29

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    It seems doubtful I would use CR123s in the Fulton either. I have plenty of lights that take them and almost always one with me, just interested in having a single light that covers all the bases.

    Maybe you need to invest in a 3rd gen Mag,I think it has the strobe. I generally try to keep relatively cheap unremarkable lights in my cars just because break-ins and theft have increased over the years. I don't know if I would be willing to leave one of the new $40+ Mags in my car but it would give you a lot of features.
    I have a 3D ML300, only thing I don't like about it for a vehicle light is the electronic switch/parasitic drain, though it can be locked out.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Flashlights that take more than 1 battery type

    Quote Originally Posted by moshow9 View Post
    Zebralight SC80, though discontinued. I wish I had picked one up when they were out.
    These days that is pretty low output, but I'd still love one. Just a really cool, unique light. It was the first one I thought of when seeing this thread.
    GOOD TINT!

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