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Thread: Maglite Modding in 2020

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Maglite Modding in 2020

    Hi guys,

    After much anticipation I got my Tads Customs G4 bi pin PR adaptor for my Maglites; it came with Philips 7387 and 7388 bulbs, one each.

    I've been running my Mags with the Maglite Magnum Star II xenon bulbs in the ceramic adaptor they come with; these are the collars that I have available.

    The 7388 does not fit all the way through the collar, and I broke a piece of it off trying to confirm that was the problem. It's the bottom, flat part of the bulb with the leads in it, not the globe. I tried multiple collars and the bulb was too big for all them. The 7387 does fit through, so I'm going to be using it for the time being.

    Is this normal? If so, what do y'all do about it? Is there a collar that I could buy that is big enough for these larger bulbs?

    Thanks in advance,
    Grijon
    Last edited by Grijon; 12-08-2019 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2

    Default Re: Phillips 7388 won't fit through collar

    Is the light formerly a krypton bulb light? Those collars have a slightly larger ID to allow the krypton globe to fit through it.
    The bi-pin bulb collar ID was downsized to fasten down the bi-pin bulb holder.

    I oversized mine, but that means no more able to use a bi-pin bulb in that light.

    Here's one at the big A.

    https
    ://www.amazon.com/MagLite-Torch-flashlight-Retaining-Collar/dp/B078J76F8G
    Last edited by bykfixer; 12-08-2019 at 05:35 AM.
    John 3:16

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phillips 7388 won't fit through collar

    Thank you, bykfixer, this is the information that I was looking for

    Every bi-pin Magnum Star II comes with a new collar, so I can oversize one for each light and if I want to take a particular light back to Maglite bi-pin I can just use the collar that comes with the new bulb - and that's the plan, now. I'll start a parts bin for PR collars, ha ha.

    I've been going through Magnum Star II bulbs pretty good lately and bought these incan Mags well over a year ago, so I don't remember how many came with krypton bulbs originally, though I do remember the first time I changed one over from xenon and wondering if I should save the old collar - then deciding not to, LOL.

    It was a bit frustrating that my first higher-power incan modding 'project' went so poorly, but I'm actually enjoying the process of learning and experiencing. I also see that 7388 bulbs are only a few dollars and readily available.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Long leads lead to gap

    I changed the name of the thread to reflect my hopes for it: I've never modded before and most of the information online is from long ago. Hopefully this can help anybody else in (almost now) 2020 who happens to get into it these days.

    Next topic!

    These Philips bulbs both stick out quite a ways from the PR base. I have heard of trimming leads to make them sit lower, but I'm not sure if that's just for focusing issues or if there's a heat benefit from it.

    Is there anything wrong with just putting the bulb in the base and using it, while it's sitting with a gap between the bulb and base?

    I've got my first 90+ minute run on the 7387 in a 4D with no apparent ill effects...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Long leads lead to gap

    Pre-Maglite days, folks used washers to move the bulb forward. Old replacement Mag bulbs came with one or two washers for use in non focusing lights like Kel-Lites. Don Keller worked for Tony Maglica at that time and requested Tony include washers with a bulb.



    An original 7 cell came with a pair of washers in it.
    Point being, yes bulb position can cause it to be more spotlight or spill light.


    Good idea btw. Long lost art of modding Maglites is part of what made CPF a go to place in the early days. For a time it became the CPF (sponsored by SureFire) show, which reportedly caused some hard feelings amongst some back then as opinions turned into chat room style food fights. The consistant moderation played a big role in the neat and tidy forum we enjoy today. But big output LED's took some of the modding fun out of the hobby along with the art of end user servicable.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 12-08-2019 at 09:39 AM.
    John 3:16

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long leads lead to gap

    Quote Originally Posted by Grijon View Post
    Is there anything wrong with just putting the bulb in the base and using it, while it's sitting with a gap between the bulb and base?
    I've now got over 12 hours of runtime with the 10W bulb just stuck into the base, no trimming. The shortest run was the initial 90+ minute, and several runs were 3 hours or more.

    Running on 4 NiMH D cells with KaiDomain reflector and lens.

    Everything seems fine.

    Haven't modded a collar to try the 20W bulb again, but I should have some time this week.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long leads lead to gap

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Point being, yes bulb position can cause it to be more spotlight or spill light.
    Thanks for all the info! I've always tried to keep the head as tightened down as I can, only loosening until it goes to spot the first time, thinking that the closer to the body the reflector is the more of the bulb's light is being captured; now I may need to do some experimenting based on this post and that in another thread I saw you say that it can take 3-4 full turns to get a better focus.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Grijon View Post
    Hi guys,

    After much anticipation I got my Tads Customs G4 bi pin PR adaptor for my Maglites; it came with Philips 7387 and 7388 bulbs, one each.

    I've been running my Mags with the Maglite Magnum Star II xenon bulbs in the ceramic adaptor they come with; these are the collars that I have available.

    The 7388 does not fit all the way through the collar, and I broke a piece of it off trying to confirm that was the problem. It's the bottom, flat part of the bulb with the leads in it, not the globe. I tried multiple collars and the bulb was too big for all them. The 7387 does fit through, so I'm going to be using it for the time being.

    Is this normal? If so, what do y'all do about it? Is there a collar that I could buy that is big enough for these larger bulbs?

    Thanks in advance,
    Grijon
    The collar of the new version Maglite (with bi pin Xenon bulb) has a smaller diameter which the G4 Halogen bulb does not fit in, but it is very easy to fix.
    Get a round tapered file and polish the inner edge / make the diameter bigger. It should not take more than 5 minutes.


  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    Thank you, konifans!

    It's on my to-do list, and I'll have confidence now that the idea been's verified

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    Success! Thanks again to bykfixer and konifans: filing the collar that comes with standard Maglite bi-pin bulbs will allow the Philips bulbs to pass through while still retaining the G4 adaptor - and if I can do it, anyone can do it.

    I'll report back after getting some time in with the 20W 7388.

    Appropriate for a higher-power mod, I saw my first flashlight-induced spark as I took an amperage reading on the 20W bulb
    Last edited by Grijon; 12-18-2019 at 07:47 AM. Reason: Formatting

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    Just a little update.

    In a 4D Mag with 4 NiMH D cells, I ran the 3387 for a total of nearly 15 hours and the 3388 for a total of more than 5 hours; no problems on either, no apparent wear on either.

    Good, easy upgrade.

    Now Iíve moved the Tads Custom bi-pin socket and 3388 into my 6D Mag running on 6 adaptors with 2 parallel AA Eneloops apiece.

    Just did a 58-minute first run, so problems so far.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Grijon View Post
    In a 4D Mag with 4 NiMH D cells, I ran the 3387 for a total of nearly 15 hours
    In order to power up 6 volt mentioned bulb in 4D M*g at spec, possible to use 5 NiMH "C" cells in PVC tube. Some tail cap mod will be necessary. This is for people who don't want to buy 5D M*g.
    To overdrive (7.4 V) same bulb(s) in smaller M*g, Possible to use pair of 18650 in 2D M*g with some tail cap mod or use pair of 26650 in 3D M*g. There are many other possibilities if you can custom make and modify.
    I use 2S/2P (total of 4) 18650 in 2.5D M*g. 7.4 volt, 6800mAh. Light weight, easy to carry, 30W Philips 5761 bulb.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    fivemega, you read my mind!

    I have a 2D and a 3D on the way and I like the idea of putting li-ion in them.

    I was thinking 2x26650 in the 2D with a 3388 and 3x26650 in the 3D with a 30W bulb; I have some research to do.

    Thank you!

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maglite Modding in 2020

    Haven't done any additional modding, but have been using my Maglites for 2-4 hours a day for the past several weeks.

    The 3388 on 6xNiMH has been doing fine, got about 8 additional hours on it after 15 hours with 4xNiMH.

    Still thinking li-ion for the 2D and 3D lights, but haven't moved on that yet.

    Actually been doing a number of alkaline tests and been quite impressed.

    Low-resistance switch modding is on the to-do list, too, starting with research.

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