Introduction: Expedition Light

Picture of Expedition Light

Hi all,
I like to show you my very small Expedition Light.
I use the same circuit like I show you in my Steampunk Plasma Bulb with Clock Gear.
If you want you can say it’s only a Mod but I think it’s a completely different project.
First of all you need some parts:
1x Flashlight circuit out of a disposable camera from Fujifilm.
2x AA-size battery holder.
1x small energy saving lamp.
1x small switch.
A box big enough to store all these components.
My box have the dimension of 7cm x 7cm x 4.5cm
The two AA cells are able to supply power for 30-36 Hours

Also don't miss to visit my website with more great projects under Steampunk-Design.

Step 1: Prepare the Engery Saving Lamp

Picture of Prepare the Engery Saving Lamp

When you find a nice energy saving light you must remove the complete electrics from the bulb.

If you broke the glass of the energy saving light the dust out of the lamp is highly toxic.

The bulb on the pictures is different to the used one but it depends on the same procedure of handling.

If you are not sure you can remove the electronic safely put all into a closed freezer bag and work with a screw driver which is stick through the plastic.

Open the plastic housing and disconnect the 4 small wires to the bulb from the circuit.
Now drill the 2 pairs of wire together like shown on the picture.
Solder a longer wire to every pair of drilled wires.
Later you connect these wires to our circuit.
The bulb is ready to use…

Step 2: Prepare the Disposable Camera

Picture of Prepare the Disposable Camera

First of all you buy a disposable camera from Fujifilm or other one from the picture.
If you buy other models you will find inside an AAA cell instead of the right AA cell.
In this case the soldering points for the power output are on an other place.

After removing the paper you will find a plastic camera without any screws.

Remove or loose the plastic flaps on every side and open the camera.
Now you can pull out the flashligt module.
The capacitor often is charged.
If you touch the board with your fingers on the wrong place you get a hit.

Step 3: Remove Some Parts

Picture of Remove Some Parts

Before you do anything bridge the capacitor with a screwdriver.
After this you must remove the Flashlight, Capacitor and the switch for the flash.
I do it with a solder pen.
So you can use these parts in other projects.
If you are finished the board looks on the part side like this.

Step 4: Prepare the Circuit

Picture of Prepare the Circuit

On the back side you must solder 6 wires on the right place the picture will help you.
For the power input I use the two AA battery holders.
To increase the current not the voltage I solder them parallel.

Then I use two wires to connect the switch. These two solder points on the circuit will switch the power supply on/off.

The wire of the high power output of the circuit is connected to one of the wires of the bulb.
The second wire of my bulb is connected to the power (-).

Step 5: The Box

Picture of The Box

Try to find the best position for every part in the wood box.
Then connect battery holders, flashlight circuit, switch and the bulb with some wires.

The switch I used is a normally-closed one.
So it will switch the light automatically on when you open the box!
This looks very tricky for every one around.

See the picture with the right connection points for everything on the circuit.
Check the function of light and switch and remove the battery.
After that glue everything in place and let it dry.

Insert again the battery and have fun with your light.


Wyattr55123 (author)2012-11-25

You forgot "remove the battery" cheap camera circuits I have found recharge very easily

Wyattr55123 (author)2012-11-25

I love steps that involve risk of 320v 0amp shock and loud electric pops

tutdude98 (author)2012-04-05

can i use this circuit??
where i need to connect battery and bulb

jolshefsky (author)tutdude982012-09-16

I was looking at where Admiral Aaron Ravens had connected the CFL in step 4. I imagine nearly all flash units are almost exactly the same. It is a flyback oscillator that charges the capacitor. From the high-voltage of the flyback transformer, it goes through a diode and resistor to the flash capacitor. That's the key part.

If you follow the traces from the large flash capacitor, one will go back to the battery (probably the negative terminal) and the other will trace through a resistor and a diode (either order) before getting back to the flyback transformer. You connect the CFL to that side of the flyback transformer.

tutdude98 (author)jolshefsky2012-09-18

so one wire goes to flyback transformer and one to battery (negative terminal)??

jolshefsky (author)tutdude982012-09-18

That's what it looks like. I can't quite see from your pictures, but if the transformer has 3 wires, then yes. Basically you want your lamp connected in place of the capacitor, and you probably need to bypass the resistor and (although it doesn't really hurt anything to leave it) the diode.

firesirt (author)2012-06-19

Actually, sometimes, if you ask nicely(and are lucky) camera places will give you the disposables that people bring in to be developed. I actually got a 1'X1'X3' box of them for free for my projects.

One note, some places have a policy to recycle them themselves, and aren't aloud to give them out

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-08-16

you can make it smaller then that heres one i made

Junophor (author)dasimpson19812011-08-17

Very well done!!

dasimpson1981 (author)Junophor2011-08-17

i will be changeing the cfl to a mains led light soon when i find the right one as the led one will give off more light

hitachi8 (author)dasimpson19812012-04-06

LED are no high voltage, what youre talking about are actually Neon Lamps.

dasimpson1981 (author)hitachi82012-04-06

no they are not mains led bulbs are x amount of led in series to handle the mains voltage maybe you should of looked into this bit of info befor commenting

hitachi8 (author)dasimpson19812012-04-06

well i was commenting, it aint writing a novel.
you should wire a resistor or a high voltage low uF cap with you're LED, in case one blows up and short it will not burn them all down and cause problem (fire...).

check out this circuit: freeinfosociety@com/electronics/schematics/light/pictures/acled.gif (replace @ by ".")

dasimpson1981 (author)hitachi82012-04-07

the mains led units have them parts in of the shelf

gcc_mtl (author)dasimpson19812011-10-19

Please post if you find a brighter light.

lol i just noticed i still have the brousing and swelling from my fractured thumb

hitachi8 (author)2012-04-06

that is very nice, ive being looking for this project for a long time. i actually saw those photo a while back, am glad i found the owner.

mperes01 (author)2012-03-02

Very Steampunk. Love it. How long will it run on 2AA? What about using a cigar size box and 2D cells?

I run it with 2 AA cells for 36 hours and they still not empty! With 2 D cells i think it's for a lifetime...

que bueno seria un plano electrico para poder conectar mas facil y si es posible hacer el circuito electronico completo por que esta muy interesante gracias

chuckr44 (author)2011-11-14

Neat. Very Steampunk. Is it powered by pixies?

rocketman221 (author)2011-08-17

If your only using one camera board, you can connect the bulb before the diode and get AC power. It will make the light a little bit brighter.

You are right but I already grab the power before the diode make it DC.


uberchoob (author)nmh01052011-11-08

The same reason why we don't always type in all caps, we overheat and explode...

rocketman221 (author)nmh01052011-09-13

The xenon flash can't be run continuously. I have tried that before with a small neon transformer, and it will actually melt a hole through the side of the bulb within a few seconds.
Even trying to use them as a strobe light will melt down the plastic lens and reflector around them after a couple of minutes, then melt the solder holding the wires to the bulb.

wobbler (author)2011-08-18

Permanently putting two batteries in parallel is not such a good idea as the batteries will self-discharge through each other. You should either use a double pole switch to switch each on or a separate switch to switch between the two batteries.

dasimpson1981 (author)wobbler2011-10-24

only one connected the other is there as a spare for when first runs down

wobbler (author)dasimpson19812011-10-24

Gotcha! ;o)

dasimpson1981 (author)wobbler2011-10-24

some times the rechargables dont light the unit stright off and the lamp hast to be held something to do with the resistance of the batterys i think i tend to keep it hucked up to a solaer panel so it charges during day

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-10-24

the bettery was was something i picked up for a pound last crimbo it tulk 3 aa batterys for running 10 leds so it is very small this yeah im hopeing to get mains led set and run a 100 or more leds

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-10-24

i found if you shorted the switch it worked once then had to be released again for the next charge

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-10-24

got your massage today dont know why i wasent notified by email the board you have dosent work to well for cfl but ok for led's the board i had like yours worked different to how the others did

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-10-24

the flash pcb has been cut down cfl was 10 watt i think

halzark (author)2011-09-20

How long will this run on the two AA batteries?

phinch (author)2011-09-02

Powering a CFL with a camera flash charging circuit is very inspiring. I hope to play with this soon.

A good source for cameras to tear apart is photo shops (if you can find a place that still processes film) They will usually give you several used disposable cameras for free. They've removed the film, but the flash circuit and battery are still usually there.

Nemesis201077 (author)2011-08-17

I love the look of this. I might add some foam padding,springs to prevent components getting knocked on my expeditions, but having a unique light in a beautifully carved small wooden box would look awesome.
Great work

Horatius.Steam (author)2011-08-17

Yes! Cool Job! Greetings from the North :-)

Kaptain Kool (author)2011-08-17

the lamp is very nice!

Junophor (author)2011-08-16

Hi Aaron Very good job.
This small object will surely brighten the steampunk light. Besides this your project (and the other similiar ones too) follows a very green idea because every part you took has had its career. The disposal camera with its still working parts: electronic and! batterie and also the CFL. Most of them wich doesn`t work anymore in their first, normal life, still could be used again by taking the glas tube in such projekts. That´s a total fascinating environmental aspekt right? So let´s get more of them!!
Aeon Junophor

PKM (author)2011-08-16

You can power fluorescent bulbs with camera flash circuits? Wow! There I was thinking all they were good for was strobe lights and painfully electrocuting yourself.

I guess the switch is a normally-closed so the light comes on when you open the box? That's a neat trick too, but if that's how it works you didn't really explain it in the instructable.

Ohh, yes you are right...
I missed to told this!
I will add this hint.

About This Instructable




Bio: Steampunk-Design builds and developed the most modern technical equipment, fine jewelry and futuristic devices implemented with funds and materials of the Victorian era.
More by Admiral Aaron Ravensdale:Steampunk Picaxe protected SketchbookWaving Key Flower a Steampunk versionSteampunk Laptop
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