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Thread: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

  1. #1

    Default Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Hi,

    I searched all over, found nothing; please be kind if I missed this.

    I'm trying to collect incan Maglites, and I've come across some different lumens and throw that I think are older generations, and was wondering if anyone here could help me.

    The 2018 catalog lists the following lumens and throw/beam for a 3 cell C.

    3xC
    Throw: 274m
    Lumens: 45

    But when searching online, I've found Mags from 2005 with completely different lumens and throw.



    It appears that at least two generations of incan Mags are currently on the market, and I would like to group them to specific versions or generations.

    It's a shame Maglite makes it somewhat difficult to differentiate every version/generation of flashlight they made.

    Any information or clarification would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    They are not really different generation lights, just that they use different bulbs, the newer bi-pin xenon bulbs are brighter than the previous standard krypton bulbs.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Thanks!

    Very interesting, so they originally shipped all lights with krypton bulbs, and had the xenon as upgrades.

    Then they simply shipped the light with xenon bulbs and pumped up the specs on the packaging?

    Would a 2005 light should be compatible with the latest Magnum Star II Xenon Bulb?

    Also, is this the correct order of brightness for the incandescent bulbs?


    1. White Star Krypton
    2. Magnum Star Xenon
    3. Magnum Star II Xenon (latest)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Like xxo said, they are basically the same light that once used a PR base (meaning pre-focus) with krypton gas then later a bi-pin bulb like a larger version of a minimag bulb that uses a brighter "burning" xenon gas. That caused the light to appear brighter and the beam to travel farther.

    In reality there are several versions of the classic D cell Maglite but they all used a PR base light bulb until the bi-pin bulb was introduced. The early D sized LED had an LED "bulb" for it's primary source of light with a krypton bulb in the tailcap.
    https://flashlightwiki.com/Mag_Instrument
    Here's a good source of basic info.

    http://maglitehistory.blogspot.com/?m=1

    A lot more specific Maglite info.

    http://maglitehistory.blogspot.com/2017/08/d-cell-quick-dating-guide.html?m=1

    A bit more specific

    Welcome to CPF
    Last edited by bykfixer; 01-12-2021 at 10:17 AM.
    John 3:16

  5. #5

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Quote Originally Posted by Yates View Post
    Thanks!

    Very interesting, so they originally shipped all lights with krypton bulbs, and had the xenon as upgrades.

    Then they simply shipped the light with xenon bulbs and pumped up the specs on the packaging?

    Would a 2005 light should be compatible with the latest Magnum Star II Xenon Bulb?

    Also, is this the correct order of brightness for the incandescent bulbs?


    1. White Star Krypton
    2. Magnum Star Xenon
    3. Magnum Star II Xenon (latest)

    Your light probably has a bi-pin xenon bulb in it if it's marked 60 lumens. They probably used a old box with a sticker for the new specs, I recently got 3C like that in a box from 2012.

    BTW mine is in the 2,860,000 serial range and has the pre 2018 Mag-lite type bezel - looks like they were using up left over parts and packaging. Maybe LiftdT4R could add some info on this.

    https://maglitehistory.blogspot.com/...cells.html?m=1

    I'm not sure on the dates, but the earliest bulbs were vacuum bulbs. At some point krypton bulbs were sold as a upgrade. Later krypton became standard and PR based xenon bulbs were offered as up grades - these were the best Maglite bulbs. Maglite than standardized the bi-pin xenons which use a separate white plastic bulb holder.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    To add to xxo post, here are the three bulbs Maglite produced after they started producing their own bulbs.


    PR base xenon (magnum star), bi-pi xenon (mangnum star II) and krypton (white star)

    Lights shown are mid 80's 2D with upgraded bulb, 2017/18 3D stock bulb, 82-ish 3D Vare-Beam.
    Early, early Maglites used GE and Phillips bulbs. Don Keller and Tony Maglica developed the krypton in house in the 1980's while Don worked for Tony. It was said Tony asked Don "what do we call it?" and Don replied "krypton, since it uses krypton gas"……

    Now if you have one with a krypton bulb you can swap out that bulb with the new bi-pin xenon as the new bulb comes in a kit. The kit is bulb, bulb holder and a collar to hold the bulb holder in place since the bulb and bulb holder are a bit more narrow outer diameter than a PR bulb.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 01-12-2021 at 06:39 PM.
    John 3:16

  7. #7

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    There were some dimensional differences, too, at least in the D series. Gene Malkoff sells a "D-collar" to help with fitment issues when using Malkoff maglite drop-ins in earlier D-cell mags without a D in the serial number. I think those earlier D-cells were slightly larger both internally and externally.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Quote Originally Posted by novice View Post
    There were some dimensional differences, too, at least in the D series. Gene Malkoff sells a "D-collar" to help with fitment issues when using Malkoff maglite drop-ins in earlier D-cell mags without a D in the serial number. I think those earlier D-cells were slightly larger both internally and externally.
    That is correct. LiftdT4R mentions this on his blog page dating D cell Maglites. I think the change was in 1992.
    Last edited by Yates; 01-13-2021 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Those "larger" ones were pre-1992 when Maglite made the barrels a bit smaller ID and made the tubing a bit thinner.
    John 3:16

  10. #10

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Thanks bykfixer and xxo for the information and pics.

    I also found lots of details and pictures of Mag bulbs at https://flashlightsunlimited.com/magbulbs.htm

    Not a big fan of the bi-pin design or upgrade kits, but I can live with it, as long it behaves well with twist focus.

    Some questions.
    My 5D Mag has a bulb with the marking MAG 5 CELL HK 1A2

    HK
    is probably the place of manufacture, is this a krypton or xenon?

    Am I correct in saying that all Magnum Star II Xenon bulbs are bi-pin?

    Also, can newer lights with bi-pin bulbs be reverted (the mechanism taken out) to use older style bulbs?

    and sorry if this is a silly question.
    Why are the older bulbs referred to as pre-focus, and are all non bi-pin bulbs pre-focus bulbs?


    Thanks so much for helping me, after reading the forums I realise how much there is to learn

    (not much focus here [mind the pun] on Maglite though, sadly)
    Last edited by Yates; 01-13-2021 at 06:04 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    You can tell krypton bulbs from xenon by the shape of the bulb.

    Mag star II's are bi-pin.

    You can use them but you need a old style bulb collar with a wider opening.

    Pre focus bulbs usually have a flange, most other bulbs are not pre-focus.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Thanks, I identified it as a krypton, based on the really helpful photo in this post

  13. #13

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    HK = hong kong. Yes at one point Maglite sourced their bulbs outside of the US. Germany and Hong Kong

    The HK is probably krypton but it may have been pre-krypton as in uses argon gas.

    Pre-focus bulbs were developed as an improvement to screw in E10 bulbs which are Edison base 10mm wide. The new bulb was labeled pre-focus but we call it PR base. Some call it flange base. It was introduced in the 1940's. PR base were used in headlights for cars and motorcycles as well as flashlights and radios. Really old flashlights used E10, later PR base and bi-pin became popular when xenon became the norm. A bi-pin with really long legs like used in SureFire or Streamlight light bulb modules are called wire lead bulbs.

    The collar that holds the bulb screwed down in a Maglite had a larger opening to allow the larger globe of a krypton bulb to pass through. For the bi-pin Maglite made the opening of the collar a bit narrower to hold down the bi-pin fastener. You can oversize the bi-pin collar to allow a krypton to work but you're stuck with the bigger hole after that. You can get the old style collar eBay or elsewhere. It is part # 200-000-057 or MA200057 at flashlights unlimited (which is a great source by the way or zbattery dot com).

    CPF is a great source for flashlight know how.
    John 3:16

  14. #14

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    As a big fan of incans, is it better to buy the older D/C cell lights with pre-focus bulbs and upgrade to the bi-pin later, or should I get the newer bi-pin lights, but no easy way back to the old PR bulbs?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Probably best to buy a light with a krypton bulb and convert to bi-pin unless you buy the bi-pin version at a place that sells the krypton bulb holding collar. See, you can buy just that collar at some places but at $3-5 depending on price of the store plus $3-5 (or more) to ship it to you……if you are purchasing a light at a place that sells the collar you'd save money. But the difference is the collar that holds the bulb down. That's it. Well and the bulb itself.
    John 3:16

  16. #16

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    The bi-pin bulbs come with the new collar, so if your light has the old PR bulb collar you are good to go. If you have a bi-pin light, you have to track down a old PR bulb collar or open up a bi-pin collar to fit a PR bulb.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Quote Originally Posted by Yates View Post
    Hi,

    I searched all over, found nothing; please be kind if I missed this.

    I'm trying to collect incan Maglites, and I've come across some different lumens and throw that I think are older generations, and was wondering if anyone here could help me.

    The 2018 catalog lists the following lumens and throw/beam for a 3 cell C.

    3xC
    Throw: 274m
    Lumens: 45

    But when searching online, I've found Mags from 2005 with completely different lumens and throw.



    It appears that at least two generations of incan Mags are currently on the market, and I would like to group them to specific versions or generations.

    It's a shame Maglite makes it somewhat difficult to differentiate every version/generation of flashlight they made.

    Any information or clarification would be greatly appreciated.
    The light in the picture is a 3D (not a 3C).

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Belgium
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    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    They are not really different generation lights, just that they use different bulbs, the newer bi-pin xenon bulbs are brighter than the previous standard krypton bulbs.
    That's not correct. For the bigger lights there are 3 generations: Gen1 have no letter in front of their serial#; Gen2 have a 'C' or 'D' in front of their serial#. Gen 3 are the current generation of lights where most of them have LEDs while Gen 1 always had a bulb and Gen 2 mostly had a bulb, the later lights a drop in LED with a bulb in the tailcap. The Gen1 and Gen2 Mags have other differences as well: different switch, different retaining ring and different location of the o-ring. Battery tube of Gen1 = slightly tapered because the o-ring sits inside the head while Gen2 bodies are straight because they have the o-ring on the tube.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    That's not correct. For the bigger lights there are 3 generations: Gen1 have no letter in front of their serial#; Gen2 have a 'C' or 'D' in front of their serial#. Gen 3 are the current generation of lights where most of them have LEDs while Gen 1 always had a bulb and Gen 2 mostly had a bulb, the later lights a drop in LED with a bulb in the tailcap. The Gen1 and Gen2 Mags have other differences as well: different switch, different retaining ring and different location of the o-ring. Battery tube of Gen1 = slightly tapered because the o-ring sits inside the head while Gen2 bodies are straight because they have the o-ring on the tube.
    There really are no official “generations” when it comes to the old Mags, just made up ones by collectors....it would be easy to claim any small change in some part or markings is a generation, leading to as many generations as you like to imagine.


    The only time Mag used the term generation was for the “3rd gen LED” (later renamed ML300), in reference to the 3 generations of LED D cell Mags. I have never seen Mag reference a number of generations for their incan lights.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    My favorites are the Mag's from the mid-2000's upgraded with the PR based Magnum Star bulbs. They seemed so bright and throwy back then for alkaline battery based lights. Even the kryptons back then were an improvement over previous generations. I don't know if the current bi-pins are officially brighter, but they don't seem very solid in there. And the lamps are a bit smaller. Me already having a serious distrust of bi-pins and their durability, these two things are a bit of a turn off. Dorcy made a decent xenon based PR bulb back then as well I'd use in plastic C and D lights. Still got an old Rayovac set up with one and a couple of 2AA battery holders.
    Last edited by ampdude; 01-20-2021 at 06:37 PM.
    ampdude

  21. #21

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    I think 'generations' might be the incorrect term for what I'm after.

    My goal is to compile a list of lumens and throw for C and D cell sizes, to help determine which bulb a retail packaged Maglite will have.

    Would be useful as a buyers guide, to know which bulb you're getting.

    Edit:
    No need to compile anything, as the Mag bulbs table on flashlights unlimited appears to be the best resource for this

    https://flashlightsunlimited.com/magbulbs.htm
    Last edited by Yates; 02-01-2021 at 09:03 PM. Reason: correction

  22. #22

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Why a C puts out a few more lumens than D? I dunno.

    Last edited by bykfixer; 01-22-2021 at 12:50 PM.
    John 3:16

  23. #23

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    If you look they also mixed the battery life hours around. They just put the C and D specs in the wrong places. The larger D battery if it is the same voltage as a C is obviously going to have less voltage sag when turned on so the bulb will be brighter. It's even more obvious in 6V lantern lights that have batteries powered by four "F" cells compared to 4D and 4C Mags. (be advised the cheaper 6V lantern batteries use 4 D cells in series.)
    Last edited by ampdude; 01-22-2021 at 11:51 PM.
    ampdude

  24. #24

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Why a C puts out a few more lumens than D? I dunno.
    Quite confusing when a 2019 boxed 3D turns up with a krypton bulb, I thought these days they all ship with bi-pins.

    Regarding the discrepancy with C and D cells, here are photos of the packaging.




  25. #25

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    ^ That's because Mag did a rolling change on the bulbs, when the krypton bulbs ran out, they switched to xenon bi pins – apparently they had more 3 cell krypton bulbs than they did 2 cell so the transition took place later.


    The 27 vs 31 lumen thing is just the result of differences in testing – the batch of 2C lights averaged 31 lumens while that batch of 2D's averaged 27 lumens.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    The 3D incan flashlight has always been very popular ever since the D battery was perfected by Charles Burgess in the 1910's. And the 3D cop lights beginning with Kel-Lite in the late 1960's started a new phase of that. It was probably Maglites best seller for decades for full sized lights. The aa minimag was probably a better seller than the 3D though.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 01-29-2021 at 02:12 PM.
    John 3:16

  27. #27

    Default Re: Seeking info on Maglite incan generations

    I never really understood the 3D's popularity. The 2D/2C is a nice compact light. If you want more light the 4C/4D is much better than the 3D and also makes a nice club. The 3D was always strange to me.
    ampdude

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