Instructables

Hack a Mag-Lite torch into a rechargeable led torch

Featured
Picture of Hack a Mag-Lite torch into a rechargeable led torch
Replace cells on a torch is such a boring thing to do for some of lazy guy like me...
(get new cells, opening torch, throw cells in special boxe...blah blah blah)

So let's hacking your old Mag-Lite torch into a cool longlasting rechargeable led torch!

It's cheap and ecological so it's cool!

Let's go!!!

Caution:
I read some pertinent comments, after this convertion your torch will not be waterproof anymore.
Dont modified yours if it is an important thing for you.

A suitable cap must be add to restore the waterproof ability (perhaps an iphone cap).


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: What you need


• 3 cell Mag-Lite torch (from 2 to 5 cell, it's ok just check charger and led instructions)
• 3 ni-mh rechargeable cells (11000mAh suite well for me). Cost: 5 for 19€ on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=271304581802&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
• 1 adaptive voltage ni-mh charger able to charge 3 cells (3x1,2V=3,6V dc). Cost: 9€ on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261356987557&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
• 1 Teralux 140 lumensled. Cost: 13€ on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=201027235367&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
• 1 dc 3,5mm jack connector. Cost: 2 for 2,24€ on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261310392594&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
• 1 dc 3,5mm socket connector. Cost: 3 for 1,21€ on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=121183836089&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
• 1 stick glue with his gun
• tools to cut plastic
• 1 drill to make a hole in the aluminium mag-lite body (JESUS! What a shame!!!)
• soldering tools
• 1 little hexa key
• some of self-control (not sold on ebay)



Step 2: Disassemble the torch

Picture of Disassemble the torch
2014-02-04 00.15.38.jpg
2014-02-04 00.14.37.jpg
2014-02-04 00.17.30.jpg

Step 3: Hack the system

Picture of Hack the system
2014-02-04 01.21.52.jpg
2014-02-04 02.13.16.jpg
Try to understand my wiring diagrams

Replace the original bulb with the Terralux led

Change the Tamiya connector of the charger to the new dc 3,5mm jack connector

Step 4: Reassemble and charge

Picture of Reassemble and charge
temp_-996474816.jpg
My wiring avoid the use of the troch instead of charging (more safe for the charger)

The charger give from 100mA to 250mA

So for 11000mAh cells, 2 days of charge would be the minimum request i think.

Nb: This charger i bought adapts its charging voltage according to the number of cell it can detect!...same charger for different size of Mag-lite! YES YES YES!!!
tramsey77 months ago
Another interesting addition to this would be to put a USB port and converter so you can charge all of your devices from it?
monjnoux (author)  tramsey77 months ago

good idea. have to find now a compact usb charger

tramsey7 monjnoux7 months ago
Actually you don't need a charger all you have to do us build a converter that changes the voltage from the batteries into the voltage for any usb device.
ghaom7 months ago

Bravo, well done. We use the rechargeable 3 cell maglites with the terralux conversion and the situation works very well. I would suggest the one led head as it will produce enough light to do what ever you would like it to do. The three led head sucks more power from the batteries and gives you more light but to what end. Also if you drop the Maglite from the body of a B-1 or B-52 onto hardened concrete the head will break and then you will have to buy another which is expensive. They will last through Swing shift and Graveyard shift with no problems.

monjnoux (author)  ghaom7 months ago

how many hours can stand your rechargeable 3 cell maglites Ghaom?

londobali7 months ago

Great!
Nicely done..

I wouldnt mind about the waterproof thing, if it's an old maglite it's probably start to leak in some water anyway..

If i need to take it out on a rainy day, i'd just do the trick i did with my non-waterproof flashlights: cover the whole thing with a clear plastic bag, or even better: condom (wash first to get rid of the lubricant).. :D

monjnoux (author)  londobali7 months ago

it's a solution! :)

maxhuey7 months ago

and... if you want your torch batteries to last a long time, try this:

and this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITK7rCiWjq0

monjnoux (author)  maxhuey7 months ago

In fact, you meen i have to change my maglite! ;)

akagoldminer7 months ago

I think I might try this but I may put the charge port in the end cap if I can. i think a thin stip of foil inside 2 pieces of tape to insulate it will act as a wire to connect to the positive terminal for the battery and then connect the negative to the spring. I think i saw some rechargeable D Cell batteries at the store the last time i was there to use so this would allow me to chare it without removing the batteries every time for charging.

monjnoux (author)  akagoldminer7 months ago

"thin stip of foil", great idea. there are still thin free space beside D cell to do this.

Definitly more esthetic.

Next step, inductive charger in the botom!

semma1017 months ago

super awesome!! i found an old maglight going through some stuff the other day. project time!!!

monjnoux (author)  semma1017 months ago

add us some images when you'll finish your maglight! ;)

Tachyon7 months ago

Is the flashlight still waterproof?

monjnoux (author)  Tachyon7 months ago

not yet Tachyon. i need to add a cap system.

Mark AJA7 months ago

Wiring diagram will come later.

Please add your circuit diagram as soon as possible.

EngrDanny7 months ago
Nice hack! Have you tried Lithium Ion cells?
monjnoux (author)  EngrDanny7 months ago

thank you. I don't have tried it yet. have to find the suitable charger. mine is only ni-cd and ni-mh.

Good idea, due to the better ratio of Li-ion cell...it surely worth with reuse batteries.

hdmotorc7 months ago
Great Project. Will do this one for sure!!!!
monjnoux (author)  hdmotorc7 months ago

I'm glad you like it!

zikzak17 months ago
Fully cycle the batteries at least three times and let us know if youre run time increased! Really interested to know. Well Done :)
monjnoux (author)  zikzak17 months ago

pertinent advice! i'll try soon