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Black Forest
12-23-2011, 06:07 AM
I bought my wife a LED flashlight yesterday. Quite small. The flashlight cost 99 Euro's!!!!

So I am thinking the next flashlight I want I will make. I found a web site here in Germany that sells the CREE LED's and lens. Now I just have to figure out exactly what else I need.

So I have added a new folder to my favorites list.....flashlight.

Now the research begins.

I went to the candlepowerforums.com but only the home page is accesible. Registration and viewing the forums results in a "not found".

beanbag
12-23-2011, 06:10 AM
Works for me. Maybe they don't like Germans?

Tony Ennis
12-23-2011, 07:31 AM
99 Euros? They can be had here, in their cheesiest forms, for about $2. A $130 flashlight would be pretty nice.

davidwdyer
12-23-2011, 08:02 AM
And the "cheesiest form" ones work pretty well!

Black_Moons
12-23-2011, 08:02 AM
gez, and here I thought my $20 1W 2AA led maglight was expensive! (Worth it as far as flashlights go.. I really should get an LED upgrade kit for my 4D maglight... That thing doubles as a club for self defense!)

Also, the little $4 '9 led 3 AAA' flashlights work pertty well when you don't need serious brightness.. look micky mouse and sold everywhere, they work supriseingly well.. tempted to make a fiting to mount 2 or more onto my bike as head/tail lights. Only downside is they take AAA's, very low capacity batterys, a single D cell + boost circuit would store several times more energy (then 2 AAA) and cost less to replace.

aboard_epsilon
12-23-2011, 08:16 AM
i bought some people, 9 led flashlights (torches) this year and they were 99 pence each

there iisn't any chance in hell that i would pay 99 euros for one ..you must be crazy

i also have a beautifully made one ..that has thick wall alaluminium about 4mm ..and its got conventional midget bulb ..6 LEDs that come on 3 or 6 ..and is super bright ..cost 4.99

all the best.markj

Black Forest
12-23-2011, 09:22 AM
I made a mistake. The light was only 49 Euro's. Something else was 99.

It is a nice light though! You can focus the light. Does that make it ok!!!!!

aboard_epsilon
12-23-2011, 09:39 AM
I made a mistake. The light was only 49 Euro's. Something else was 99.

It is a nice light though! You can focus the light. Does that make it ok!!!!!

well i supose its all relative .

if you have deep pockets ..

i dont ..sorry about calling you crazy ..if i had the money i supose it wouldnt matter to me

all the best.markj

DFMiller
12-23-2011, 09:47 AM
An Early Digital Machinist has an article on making a flashlight. Contact George to arrange to order a back issue.
Dave

alanganes
12-23-2011, 09:48 AM
I have had some ideas for a shop made LED flashlight myself. I went so far as to make up some little PC boards for the boost/switching circuitry. Have not gone much beyond testing the circuit. Still need to work out the mechanical stuff. Long been on the back burner.

Not that I am any sort of expert but I have found that once you get past all the nuance of the efficiency of the LED and/or the boost circuitry, and if the general mechanical build is done nicely, the real weak spot in most flashlights seems to be the stupid switch. I have had a number of otherwise very nice lights fail due to cheap-o switches that either stop working all together or get intermittent. Very annoying. Granted that none of these were $100+ lights, but they were not $1 ones either.

It would seem that we as a society should have solved the engineering problem of a decent mass-produced (read as "moderately priced") switch by now.

Another annoying trait I have run across is the tendency for the flashlight's contacts to sort of mash in the contacts on the ends of the batteries. In some cases this also leads to the light getting intermittent. Also very annoying.

I missed the initial window to buy in, but this looked pretty neat and interesting:

Hexbrite, the open source flashlight! (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/527051507/hexbright-an-open-source-light/comments)

May still get one when they start making and shipping them.

Highpower
12-23-2011, 09:50 AM
there iisn't any chance in hell that i would pay 99 euros for one ..you must be crazy

Then i suppose 160 euros is out of the question? :D

http://www.surefire.com/LX2-LumaMax

Steve Steven
12-23-2011, 09:53 AM
You might enjoy browsing here at Deal Extreme, its a Hong Kong Internet exporter of just about everything made in China. Heres a link to the Flashlight Parts, such as lenses, tailcap switches, etc:
http://www.dealextreme.com/c/flashlight-parts-and-tools-917

Best part is there is NO shipping charge, built into the price. Bad part is you have to wait for it about two weeks, and with Chinese New Year coming up, it will be even longer.

Steve

legendboy
12-23-2011, 10:16 AM
Here is a forum I check out once and a while. Some good machining/flashlight related content

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forum.php?

Black Forest
12-23-2011, 10:59 AM
well i supose its all relative .

if you have deep pockets ..

i dont ..sorry about calling you crazy ..if i had the money i supose it wouldnt matter to me

all the best.markj


No appology necessary so long as you were smiling when you wrote it!!!!!

Bill736
12-23-2011, 11:05 AM
My lady friend and I are flashlight enthusiasts, and we're constantly adding to our collection ( around 30 I'd guess, all ready to use.) All recent additions have been LED, and brightness and reasonable compactness are our primary criteria. I prefer flashlights that use no smaller than AA batteries, and preferably C or D batteries. Special type batteries and rechargables are not favored. We've spent as much as $45 for a flashlight, although with the prices coming down I now look for ones less than $30. One gripe I have is the inconsistency in the brightness ratings , with watts and lumens and distance all being used to confuse the buyer. My other gripe is, as pointed out above, the continued lack of reliability . Even though many new flashlights look machined and bulletproof, they still start to flicker after a few months, just like the cheap ones of years past. Sometimes they are servicable, and sometimes it's like voodoo getting them to work consistently. The LED lamps sold by Maglight to replace incandescent bulbs are fairly bright, but other replacement LED bulbs I've tried ( i.e Harbor Freight) were too dim to use at all. I doubt that we'll ever cross over into the super bright custom flashlight world , due to expense ( and the fact that every time I buy a new flashlight, my lady friend demands one too.)

danlb
12-23-2011, 02:45 PM
As a long time Candlepowerforums member, I can only giggle when I read these posts. I have helped design a light smaller than your little finger ( well, I made recommendations that were accepted) that subsequently sold for $1000.

I've built my own, and really appreciate the work that goes into a good design. ( http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?69661-Slim-2-my-first-scratch-light )

The most expensive in my collection is a simple light (the VIP made by MrBulk) that was one of the first production runs of a light with a multi level output that was actually controlled. I think 150 were made at the guy's home and sold for $175 in 2003 or 2004. It was the most advanced light of it's time.

A well designed $20 light will be dependable. A poorly designed $100 light will be problematic.

One of the common problems with the discount lights is that they copy well designed lights without knowing what is important about the design. They miss the subtle details such as conductive grease for the threads, or the current rating for the switch. They look really good, and may even be accurately and properly machined, but they just don't work well over the long haul.

For help in making your own flashlight, there are literally thousands of threads on CPF ( as www.candlepowerforums.com is affectionately known) telling all about how to make or modify them. There is a whole sub-forum dedicated to flashlight related machining but you have sign in to CPF to get there. There were too many people coming there for general machining advise! :) To find that forum, register and then look for the hidden forum at
Forum -> Custom & Modified Flashlights -> Flashlight Related Materials/Mechanical/Machining Discussion

Dan

Gunney
12-23-2011, 04:53 PM
Here is a good thread with lots of info on making a flashlight. Looks like a very good project.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=44667

Black_Moons
12-23-2011, 07:27 PM
'Flickering' seems to be a result of dying batterys to me.

Hence why 'shaking' it seems to fix it, knocks crud off the battery plates exposing more plate (Or reconnecting a part of the plate that cracked off)

Fresh alkaline batterys always seem to fix it for me. Iv had flashlights for years..
Don't use carbon zinc, if you EVER forget and leave the flashlight on, they will burst and leak all over the inside of the flashlight corroding it.

danlb
12-23-2011, 08:17 PM
I went to the candlepowerforums.com but only the home page is accesible. Registration and viewing the forums results in a "not found".

You might need to add the WWW in front of the URL. The web site is not particularly... um, "professional" in it's setup and design.


http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?17-Homemade-and-Modified-Flashlights-Discussion is a good forum for getting ideas.

RE: Black_Moons comment;
The flickering is, more often than not, due to using materials that oxidize in the electrical path. Anything you do to it (like shaking it or changing the batteries) will scrape the surfaces and make them work for a short time. The weaker the batteries the less able they are to overcome the resistance of an oxidized connection.

Dan

darryl
12-23-2011, 08:30 PM
Sometimes I wonder what all the fuss is about. I did buy one led flashlight for about $20, and it does give a very bright, almost non-bluish light. But other than that, I have some of the very cheapos, most still working, and my homemade ones.

The ones I made use a 3v lithium cell that's a bit less than 1/2 inch in diameter and about that in length. I think these cells were made for cameras- Anyway, I use the leds I cut out of a warm white 40watt bulb replacement. Purchased that for about $12 and got over 60 leds from it. I didn't use any resistor or circuit- just twist the top and the cell connects directly to the led. The one I carried in my pocket for the last year, and use almost everyday, still worked when I lost it a couple of days ago.

These were an exercise in 'how small can I make this'- turned out to be about 5/8 in diameter and about an inch long. The body is machined from solid pvc. The top carrying the led is a friction fit into the battery tube, one lead from the led contacts the battery top, and the other lead becomes the contact which makes with the side of the battery when you twist the top. Can't get much simpler than that.

Anyway, since I lost my favorite one, I'm planning to make another one using two leds in parallel. I'd like to incorporate a reed switch, and use a magnet to activate it. I would like the magnet to hide under a steel cover in one position, become exposed for use as a magnet in another position, and turn on the light in the third position. It can index itself on a suitably placed nail head or something.

danlb
12-24-2011, 12:05 AM
Sometimes I wonder what all the fuss is about. I did buy one led flashlight for about $20, and it does give a very bright, almost non-bluish light. But other than that, I have some of the very cheapos, most still working, and my homemade ones.


The fuss is about having something cool and useful that you make yourself. In many cases the result exceeds the average commercial product. A modern commercial model is often a copy of the designs that the amateur flashlight makers made (and shared) 5 to 10 years ago. The $20 light at Lowes can actually be a fairly good light.

My first flashlight mod (modification) was similar to Darryl in that it was a single LED directly driven by a battery. There was no engineering involved beyond fitting the LED into the bulb holder. Many people have made similar lights and have been quite happy with them.

Now I plan my designs, both mechanically, electrically as well as for heat management. When turned to a low output I can shine it on machine faceplates to read the specs and not be blinded. On high I can identify the raccoon on the roof of the house across the street. All that in a light that is small enough to carry with me everywhere (about the size of Darryl's light).

But I confess, my infatuation with flashlights comes from when I was a kid and could not find a flashlight that was usable for more than 10 minutes at a time. They flickered and grew dim very fast. An old Everready flashlight was seldom ready when you needed it. You needed a second flashlight so you could change the batteries or bulb on the first one when you needed it.

Dan