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Thread: How much time would you spend to save an old standard flashlight?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default How much time would you spend to save an old standard flashlight?

    So.... there it was, on ebay.de: the flashlight I used to have while I was young! So, unnecessary to say: I bought it. In that time, it was a serious flashlight, by the serious German manufacturer Daimon. It featured a stainless steel housing, large focussable reflector and... the famous Daimon "NF Brilliant" bulb!

    So when it came in, I already had 3 D cells ready, I tried to open the cap, but it wouldn't go. With all of my force, the cap refused to turn. OK, you should take a GOOD hot bath my baby... to solve all stuff that came in in those years.

    15 minutes later: no-go. Absolutely not even a millimeter. So I took waterpump pliers en yanked it. With the other hand, holding the switch I yanked SO hard that the pliers slipped over the plastic end cap... but still it was stuck...

    Now I started to squeeze that cap with the pliers and heard a crunching sound... something broke loose, but still no go. I went around 10 times with those pliers, pushing even harder. It must have been half an hour later that finally it gave way. End cap still intact. But that was about the only thing that was still intact, as... made of plastic.
    What fell out of the light made me very sad. The battery spring had literally been eaten in a few pieces by battery acid, the thread of the light was full of brown corrosion and the cap was even more filled with dreadful amounts of brown debris. When I banged the light on a piece of wood, all kinds of brown stuff fell out...

    OK, this light is shot! Throw it away is all I can do with it... but let's test it further before I do, just curious if there's some life in it... switch? DEAD! No contact whatsoever. So I soaked it in Kontakt Gold 2000 contact cleaner, actuated the switch 100 times, soaked it another time, actuated the switch more and.... hey, it works! And it works FINE!! So, 3 batteries in, a piece of wire to short the housing and the batteries and... it works... really... never thought that would happen.

    So, now the only real problem is the battery spring. While cleaning out my working room, I stumbled upon a nice large spring, but still way too small for this light. It took me another half an hour before I had all remnants from old batteries and spring out of the cap, then a nice circular recess became visible, where the spring sits in, with a diameter of 35mm. So I soldered some thick pieces of copper wire in a cross at the bottom of the spring, so it would nicely fit into that recess. Of course, I had to bend two of the four "legs" in order to get it in, then straighten them again to latch the assembly. It all worked according to plan, I screwed the cap on, a considerable force from the spring could be felt (nice!), right until it wouldn't go any further.... moment of truth.... <CLICK!> and there was LIGHT!

    I was very lucky... if the body wouldn't have been made out of stainless steel, it would have rotten away COMPLETELY!!
    Now that it works, I will give it a nice classic OSRAM 3.8V / 0.3A E10 screw bulb, I have 10 of these classic old ones. The NF Brilliant bulb has long gone...

    Now, after a few hours of work, I am glad I didn't toss it. Now it's a proud member of my collection, sitting next to other Daimon lights, telling all other Daimons: "I am the tallest of you all guys!" being a 3D light. I have a 2D in exactly the same series too, and a 2C, and... very rare nowadays, a "2R10" or "duplex" 3V battery driven light. That one barely measures 10cm (or 4") and I just took a look... if I would change the bulb for a 3.7V one, I could drop in a 21700! So, suddenly, my quite large collection of these lights got a value!

    Still to do: clean it further inside and out, and fix (glue) that pin that hold the focussing reflector. You can turn the head to focus it, just like with a Maglite. The only difference: you have to maybe turn the head just 15 degrees for the full range! The pin that holds the reflector is loose, rotten away from the inside... sigh... ;-)
    Last edited by 325addict; 10-27-2020 at 06:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much time would you spend to save an old standard flashlight?

    I`v got about 20 old icans from 60`s and 70`s, and have spent hours on them cleaning (some where disgusting!) and repairing and making new parts for them, it`s all part of the enjoyment as a flashaholic for me, nursing them back to health again. I also like making sleepers with some of them.
    A few (like yours) have been for sentimental reasons, but the majority are just because I enjoy doing it and it`s good for the environment, and lovely to use them cuddled up with a good book at night.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: How much time would you spend to save an old standard flashlight?

    That is exactly what I did as a kid: reading books at night, until the batteries were SO dead that I just couldn't read anything anymore :-)
    I always make sure to have some loaners and giveaways too... and that was the reason I bought several Daimon plastic 2D and 2C lights recently. I will put some decent, reliable bulbs in them and store them for the moment somebody knocks in to ask for a few flashlights... everyone I know, knows I have a lot of lights and they always come to ask me first if they organise some night walking in the woods with kids etc etc.
    As I enjoyed such trips enormously when I was young, I gladly loan them some of these 2D lights... and if from the 5 lights just 4 come back, hey, they cost me 3 Euros each, so no problem. I always try to avoid giving them bright LED lights (even el-cheapos are bright today) because those kids WILL shine each other in their face. We did so when we were young, I don't see any reason why today's children will NOT do so. To avoid any chance of eye damage, I always give them standard 2D or 2C cell incandescent lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine Alicia View Post
    I`v got about 20 old icans from 60`s and 70`s, and have spent hours on them cleaning (some where disgusting!) and repairing and making new parts for them, it`s all part of the enjoyment as a flashaholic for me, nursing them back to health again. I also like making sleepers with some of them.
    A few (like yours) have been for sentimental reasons, but the majority are just because I enjoy doing it and it`s good for the environment, and lovely to use them cuddled up with a good book at night.
    Last edited by 325addict; 10-27-2020 at 07:10 AM.

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