Introduction: 1960's Camping Lantern Mains Plug Hack

Picture of 1960's Camping Lantern Mains Plug Hack

A 1960's camping lantern I found at a local charity shop for £6 with broken battery compartment, I thought if I could find the voltage, I could wire it through a transformer into the mains and make into a bedside reading lamp.

Step 1:

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Inspect the wares, work out how you haven't actually bought a bargain but a thoroughly broken, used, shell of a lamp with a bulb in it.

Step 2:

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Unscrew switch bay and remove lenses.

Step 3:

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Find what wattage the lamp is, in this instance I found it to be six. Then acquire a transformer from your local radio shack or in my in my case a maplins.
Set it to six.
Cut, split and strip the ends.

Step 4:

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Drill a hole in the back of the tin casing big enough to fit both sides of cable through, I used 6 mm.
Take one of the cables, as seen here the white one and solder then electrical tape onto the spring tab of the switch.
Post the other side of you power cable through the pre-drilled holes in the other side of the lamp into the lamp reflector casing.

Step 5:

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This next step I stupidly skipped taking a photo of as was very delicate and I wanted to seal before it got knocked. This is the bulb from the top red dome which is a broken bulb in this case not being connected, so I'll try to explain this step.

There is a sprung tab at the back of the reflector casing that has a solder point in the bottom. This press's comfortably onto the back of the bulb and would usually give it all the power DC style I assume. But because we are using an AC/DC transformer we need to do a bit of jigging here.
The cable posted through in the previous step then gets soldered onto onto the flat side metal casing of the bulb which for ease of reference is the screw fitting in this picture.
Then pilfer from another broken device, a shorter piece of cable about 20 cm long, solder it to the spring tab, post it back through to the main battery compartment, and solder it to the main in, on the side of the switch and electric tape over as shown in the previous picture.

Step 6:

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Plug in quickly and check that the switch works before screwing capping plate back up into the roof of the casing.

Step 7:

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When reataching make sure the switch is sitting nicely in its slots and your careful not to dislodge any of cables, there should be more than enough space with the screw brackets for them to sit comfortably.

Step 8:

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Set up by bed or desk and getting reading or making!


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