I've taken some interest into amateur Astronomy recently and came to realize that, as a hobby, it can get very expensive very very fast. The amount of equipment available at any price range is tremendous and just getting started can mean dishing out some serious money. Learning as much as I could before deciding what kind of equipment to purchase I found astronomers use very dim, red colored flashlights as to allow for their eyesight to remain as adopted to night-time vision as possible. Since every penny worth saving on other equipment equals more aperture for your scope I decided to make a very simple red filter for my, already partly modded (with LED) Maglite.
Time required for this project: 1 hour
Cost: $0 (I had everything on stock a.k.a. rubbish laying around)
Step 1: What you'll need
To make this you will require at least:
- MAG LITE MINI with an LED instead of the regular light-bulb.,
- A thin layer of acrylic foil. I got mine from a broken ATX power supply. Should be about 0.5mm thick,
- Dark red nail polish... preferably the one your spouse does not like too much,
- Thin magic marker,
- Fine grain sandpaper
Additionally, I ended up using some duct tape, nail polish thinner and a pair of equally sized plates of glass to press the two chips together.
I would recommend against making this mod with a classic MAGLITE light-bulb installed, as I remember it heating quite a lot as opposed to a bright LED. Than again if you should want do, you could simply change the light-bulb with an already colored red LED and go about it that way.
Step 2: Step 1: Disassembly
Disassemble the top of the MAGLITE. Only remove the very top ring that holds the glass plate in place. There is no need to go any further than that. You should end up with 4 parts as shown below. The ring, reflector ( which is basically useless for a LED mod, but looks better ), the lens and the rest of you MAGLITE.