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Thread: Newbie Solitaire Mod

  1. #1

    Default Newbie Solitaire Mod

    First time post... I found CPF a while back when I was researching flashlights for work. I've been addicted ever since.

    So, today I was in Target and found some little coin cell keychain lights (red) in their $1 bins, and they scanned at $0.25. I grabbed up a few. Toss the plastic bodies, save the coin cells for a rainy day, and take the LEDs to the bench grinder.

    Bench grinder? Yep. Gotta modify those LEDs a bit if I want to fit four of 'em in a Solitaire. Just grind two flats on each LED at right angles to each other, and at a 45 deg. angle to the leads. It was quick work on the grinder, and I even escaped with all my fingertips intact.

    Superglue the LEDs together, bend the leads this way and that, a little sloppy solder work, and this is what I ended up with:



    ...And here it is in the Solitaire:



    Power it with 4 button cells from a disemboweled A23, and you get light!

    Beamshot vs. unmodded Solitaire:



    Beamshot vs. Dorcy 1AA (unmodded):


    If I can get my hands on some u-bin Nichias, I'll give those a try next.

    I wired these LEDs together so that there are two series pairs, in parallel. I suppose they could all be wired in series or in parallel, depending on the power source.

    If anyone has suggestions for wiring and battery combos, based on Nichias, I'd like to hear 'em. Remember, I'm a newbie. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* CroMAGnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    Welcome to CPF Methuselah!! VERY nice start. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Hallis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    [ QUOTE ]
    CromagNet said:
    Welcome to CPF Methuselah!! VERY nice start. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]


    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* andrewwynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    what he said :-D neat mod love the anecdotal nature of your explanation too.. fun personality.

    -awr

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    Hmm.

    Even "I" could do that. I'd never have thought of grinding the flats on the LED's to make them fit, that is genius, the simple and elegant kind.

    I've been using a RatShak wind meter with a red LED maplight to check on our infants at night, re-arrange their blankets etc.

    If I can find my Solitaire, I might have to do this myself if my Target has the lights in their dollar bins.

    For checking on my kids, I need more of a diffuse flood. Would grinding the domes on the LED's flat, and then sanding them to a matte finish give me a more diffuse beam, or just waste light?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    There's another mod on Flashlight Reviews that grinds 3 LEDs, but I find grinding to a 90 deg. angle is easier than grinding to a 120 deg. angle, not to mention 4 LEDs is better than 3. Theoretically, it's possible to do 5, but soldering the leads might get a little tricky.

    Red LED beam quality leaves something to be desired. I don't know if flattening the LEDs and giving them a matte finish will work. It's worth a try, I guess. If you do grind them down, they'll fit in the Solitaire head better, and that'd be nice (I had to remove the lens). I may give it a try myself.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* andrewwynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    some LDF film or even satin scotch tape does WONDERS for smoothing out angry little LEDs.. i've used it on several small led lights.

    -awr

  8. #8

    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    I haven't grinded that much off LEDs but if you just grind even the bottom lip of the LEDs off you can pack them in tighter. I find using either a good drinking straw or water line tubing a good way to hold LEDs while grinding on a belt sander or dremel with a stone wheel.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Grox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    Great mod and awesome first post!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Krit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Solitaire Mod

    cheer to newbie.

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