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Upgrade for the older 4-5 cell Mag lights

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by saltydog452, Feb 24, 2014.

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  1. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    I'v been hauling a Mag Light around off and on for about 20 years.

    In addition to being a light source, they were somewhat reassuring. Battery, bulb, switch life was short 'tho.

    I understand that there are now upgrades that'd increase the run time of these dinasours. Any suggestions as to what those upgrades would be?

    Thanks,

    salty
     
  2. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    Yes I replaced the lamp with an LED that is much brighter.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  4. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I was going to get a malkoff upgrade to a 3d maglite, but after looking at the cost and then getting my hands on a buddy's cheap chineese LED hand canon I went with one of them and tossed my maglite.

    light http://dx.com/p/ultrafire-th-t60-ha...light-with-strap-1-x-18650-55908#.UwyicvldXis or http://dx.com/p/ultrafire-ak-800-t6...e-led-flashlight-2-x-18650-90631#.Uwyie_ldXis

    charger $10 http://dx.com/p/ultrafire-3-6-3-7v-battery-charger-1251#.Uwyiw_ldXis

    batteries $10 http://dx.com/p/ultrafire-18650-3-7v-2600mah-lithium-batteries-2-pack-26248#.UwyjIvldXis

    but if you want to keep the maglite for sentimental or clubbing reasons, RC's suggestion is spot on.
     
  5. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    Nite Ize has some LED upgrade kits. I have zero experience with them, but their other products seem to be good.

    You could also buy a new, complete LED MagLite, if you still want a club.
     
  6. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I still have a few Mag-Lites, but consider LED upgrade to be cost-prohibitive, especially for items that, for me, were relegated to secondary/tertiary backup duty long ago.

    These days for such portable light needs I use one of several small high-lumen units.

    I do still miss my 6(7?) C cell smallhead Kel-Lite that I carried for a number of years before it got nicked 30+ years ago. A very handy light, that.

    If I still had my Kel-Lite, I would not hesitate to spend ~50 bucks to upgrade it to a high-output LED.
     
  7. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    Not 'the best' by any stretch...

    of the imagination, then or now. But, given those circumstances, a 4-5 cell Mag Light, a 'tire thumper', and a Buck 110 was the best that I could do.

    I still have a couple of working 4 'C' cell Mag lights. I'd rather not simply toss them aside.

    Thanks all for the suggestions.

    salty
     
  8. hq

    hq Member

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    I've modded a few MagLites (mainly MagChargers) with these: http://dx.com/p/ssc-p7-c-2800ma-led-module-with-copper-base-3-6v-8-4v-14413. A 4D/5D MagLite with rechargable, high-current NiCD or NiMH cells can provide enough current to drive them. There are more powerful LED emitters out there, but unless you're willing to build a custom light switch, SSC P7 is near the upper limit of what the stock switch can take without melting.

    It's a relatively cheap way to substantially increase the power. If you just want to improve run time, a simple low power LED upgrade (OEM or aftermarket) and high capacity NiMH cells will suffice nicely.
     
  9. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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  10. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    ^^^^^^^ Listen to this guy ! I bought the same bulbs to replace LED bulbs, those were a waste of monies ! Those TerraLUX bulbs are better than the cats meow. I replaced the bulb in a Mini-Mag light, thought it had turned into a handheld spot light ! My 3, 3 cell Mag Lights got the new bulbs also, better than a spotlight, lit up my backyard like noontime ! TerraLUX if you want to see in the dark.

    TerraLUX.com
     
  11. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I checked out the TeraLUX offerings last night. For less than $20each/delivered (Amazon) I will probably upgrade my C/D Cell Mag-Lites.
     
  12. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    Got it. Thanks all.

    sd.
     
  13. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Thanks for starting the Thread, saltydog452. :)
     
  14. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    I've still got one old 3 or 4D Mag-Lite relic that lives under the driver's seat in the Jeep. I don't give it much thought these days. But if I'm going to keep it, I might as well make it useful, right?

    I can see the benefit of the Malkoff device - the large built-in heatsink that contacts the body tube and dissipates heat, but at over $40, I could buy several smaller, brighter chinese cheapies.

    The terralux replacement bulb looks good - more affordable, still decent output (i really don't need 300 lumens) which offers longer run time. I doubt one could get a sustained 17 hours without melting something though. Think a thick disk of aluminum could be machined to fit as a heatsink similar to the Malkoff?
     
  15. ntg

    ntg Member

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    There's a whole bunch of people that do mods like you're talking about. The best forum I've found is: http://budgetlightforum.com/.

    I've played around some, but always get distracted with my guns, and...
     
  16. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    tiamat,

    I've used all of my TerraLUX lights many, many times since I've replaced the bulbs, "Never" had a problem with heat in any way. Its just a better quality light, use the web address I supplied, write to them, they'll be more than happy to address any concerns, I did.
     
  17. hq

    hq Member

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    At 3W and 140lm nominal output heat won't be an issue. SSC P7 (10W, 900lm nominal) is a completely different animal, it will require a heatsink between the emitter, driver and lamp frame to dissipate heat. SST-90 (30W+, 2100lm+ nominal) makes MagLite a hand warmer but light output is nothing short of staggering. My favorite combo is 2C MagLite with a SSC P7 and 2x18650 LiIon cells, it has runtime of 70-90 minutes, small and light enough to carry in a hunting backpack and it's noticeably brighter than most advertised "1.000.000 candlepower" halogen searchlights.

    TerraLUX is an easy upgrade, perfect if you want just a bit more light, not to turn your MagLite into a light cannon.
     
  18. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    A "light cannon" ... I like that! :D

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this subject.
     
  19. ntg

    ntg Member

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    You do realize that moding lights is a disease similar to the moding guns disease? If you go to that forum I mentioned above you'll see crazy things done with LEDs and flashlights.
     
  20. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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  21. shootr

    shootr Member

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    Great info - thx. Love my old maglites. Nice to know they're upgradable.
     
  22. ridurall

    ridurall Member

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    I'm a flashlight nut and much prefer the brighter the better. What I use the most are the ===fire or Ultrafire ect. type Chinese 900 lumen flashlight with the Cree type led bulb. Most of them have the 18650 Lithium Ion batteries and wow are they bright. I don't mess with anything with an incandescent bulb anymore first because they burn out at the extra power of the new 3 volt rechargable Lithium Ion batteries. I started with the Maglight then on to the Surefire 9N which I've filled with Chinese parts because Surefire just couldn't keep up and their price was too high.
     
  23. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    LED upgrade

    Rec'd a few Tera-Lux light bulbs today. Ordered verbal Tues a.m. Tera-Lux will only sell to Distributors. Mine came from an outfit by the name
    of 'Lighthound', Alvin, TX, 713.436.2609.

    For 3-6 'C' or 'D' cell Mag lights, price was 16.99 ea. For 2 'AA' cell Mini-Mag lights, price was 16.99. I don't know about battery life/run time for the LED bulbs, but these are sure enough bright. The original Mag Light bulbs were waay fragile for clumsy use.

    Your comments/suggestions were appreciated.

    salty
     
  24. hq

    hq Member

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    I have a bunch of different chinese P7, XM-L T6, MC-E etc. flashlights too. Unfortunately their actual light output is far less than advertised, mainly because of restrictive and poor quality driver circuitry. They also heat up very quickly and lose brightness due to inadequate heat sink. While they're much brighter than TerraLUX MagLites, they're only about half as bright as the same emitter can be with proper driver and manufacturers use the nominal lumen output of the emitter in advertising. :cuss:

    That hasn't stopped me from buying them wholesale and placing one in every car/truck, kitchen, garage, summer cabin, boat, first aid kit and so on. For $5-10 each at aliexpress (same flashlights are sold for $15-35 at dealextreme and kaidomain) they're great emergency flashlights.

    Even though modifying a MagLite takes some effort, I like their robust construction; with a good reflector, glass, emitter, driver, heatsink, switch and batteries they're very bright and nearly indestructible.

    As a sidenote, there are a few decent HID flashlights out there and for $150 or so you can get a 8500lm (nominal) 85W one that's almost too bright to be useful...
     
  25. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Mmmmmmmm ... sounds like a LIGHT CANNON. :D

    8500 lumens ... Good Grief!
     
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