Instructables

Salvaging a $1 Fake Shake Light

How to get upwards of $6 worth of parts from a $1 flashlight. So, if you bought one of these and feel ripped off, here is a nice way to make lemonade out of a lemon.
 
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Step 2: Cheap Parts!!

Slip the batteries out using a pen and remove the circuit board by removing the single phillips-head screw holding it on. Voila, You now have:

1 - Ultra Bright white LED, great for throwies. (approx. $0.99 ea @ RadioShack)
2 - CR2032 batteries, useful for throwies or replacing the battery in your car's remote. ($1.95 ea @ WallMart)
And assorted other parts like a small circuit board and a magnifying lens, etc. that I'll give a cumulative value of $0.50 just to round things out nicely.
actually it is magnetic. I used it to pick up little screws and other metal crap from under my bed!lol! can you tell i'm an instructable fan when I have screws under my bed!
I have a welder, soldering iron, LEDs, wire coils, and tic-tac/altoid boxes under my bed...doesn't everyone?
mattccc D34TH2U4 years ago
lol!!!!
lol
yes ,
nope...
Wolley4 years ago
I don't think there is a magnetic in this flashlight if it uses batteries and the author says it is fake. The real ones use a magnet, coil and cap. to store the energy. This one appears to be battery powered cheap $1.00 version.
mysterio774 years ago
 actually, the thing in the middle is a half-supermagnet. stronger than the average magnet, weaker than a supermagnet. how do i know? i have this exact model of flashlight. theres also a resistor in there if you get lucky
 
oh, and the screws? prob made of chromium or some other metal that isnt magnetic. supermagnet+magnetized screws=shattered magnet and/or screws
mattccc4 years ago
some of the shake flashlights are fake but not all of them
drakesword4 years ago
Hey there,

the piece in the middle has to be magnetic ... otherwise it wouldnt be able to induce a current in the coil from changing emf. Also you forgot to mention the large amount of magnet wire you get from this too!
Colonel884 years ago
Hey can't you charge CR2032 batteries?
power5 years ago
you can also save the magnet wire. pretty useful too
Grr not beaing able to read these isn't helping
"View all steps on one page" is working...
boznia westfw5 years ago
Having been fooled by this one, and done some internet research ( whilst having no real knowledge of electronics ), is it possible to simply replace the CR2032 batteries with LIR2032 rechargeable ones? I have what I would call a semi fake in that the 'slug' is strongly magnetic and the coil is attached. Without the batteries the torch works ( really dimly ) and you can see the light pulsing when you shake it. However shaking it for a long time does not really improve the brightness. Would it require more components added to the circuit if I swapped the CR2032 for the rechargeable LIR2032s??? Hope someone can help.
Hoopajoo (author)  boznia5 years ago
I'm not sure about the LIR2032 ones, but I have replaced the batteries with a capacitor on my working one. It does pretty well. Thirty seconds of shaking yields 2-3 minutes of light.
boznia Hoopajoo5 years ago
Thanks Hoopajoo! Can you tell me which capacitor you used, and how easy it was to fit? I have done little electronics I am afraid, but am keen to make my semi fake light a real one if possible. Thanks, boznia
Hoopajoo (author)  boznia5 years ago
Pretty much any large capacity 5 to 6 volt capacitor will do. Just be careful that it is completely discharged before wiring it up and that you are getting it from a reputable vendor, there are some fakes out there that can be dangerous if overloaded.
Hoopajoo (author)  Hoopajoo5 years ago
Picture of fake capacitor that didn't get attached to my last post for some reason.
PT0153.jpg
boznia Hoopajoo5 years ago
Thanks Hoopajoo. Can I ask one more quickie? Should I go for the highest Farad possible? is it the voltage that determines the brightness of the led? Also it looks like the tube where the slug goes would fit two AA batteries really well so I may just go for that option if the capacitor experiment fails.
Hoopajoo (author)  boznia5 years ago
The voltage dictates the brightness to a degree. Go to high on the voltage and you can burn your led out. The Farad rating can be likened to the Milliamp-hour rating on rechargeable batteries, it dictates the storage capacity and depletion rate. I used a 5.5v 1.2F supercap from State Electronics in mine. Hope this is of some help.
zach9115 years ago
Take the copper off of the coil and go to a metal recycling place and they will pay u for it but its not much $
A good name5 years ago
Of course the coil's connected, it wouldn't work if it wasn't.
Hoopajoo (author)  A good name5 years ago
No, the coil wasn't connected. It was running completely off the batteries. Take a close look at the circuit board. It's empty.
A good name5 years ago
I had one of those... destroyed the casing but it was fun.
guyfrom7up5 years ago
well, I just opened a real shake flashlight (got it at a thrift store for 50 cents) and I got: 1x 0.22Farad Supercap (yay!) rated at 5.5 volts 1x bright LED 1x Super powerful big neodimium magnet 1x coil (don't know what to do with it) 1x Reed Switch (to make the flashlight water proof they had a small magnet on the outside that slides as a power siwtch, which activates the reed switch, very cool!)
my reed switch just broke... :( they are realy fragile, do not try and bend leads.
The "coil" in one I bought from the "Dollar Or Two" by me is not even a coil of copper wire, but rather a wide, reflective, copper-colored, plastic ribbon of sorts. As others mentioned, the hunk of metal is not magnetic (well, barely). However, the LED in this light is extremely bright compared to the brightest white LED that RadioShit sells.

I think I'll but a few of these cheap, fake flashlights for the LEDs (since $2 is a lesser cost than a less-bright LED from RS... plus I get a free housing, mini circular mirror, and convex lens) and then then one real shake-flashlight, and I'll build a nice bright multi-LED flashlight of my own.
planes8917 years ago
ha radioshack near me has white leds for, wait for it... $5.29 lol
same here
http://alan-parekh.vstore.ca/ has led's for $0.50
I was wondering about this, I disassembled a student's light a couple of weeks ago to fix it for her (the switch got out of alignment) and I noticed that the magnet wasn't magnetic, but it was terribly heavy, I wonder if that's a lead slug?
Guess the Chinese had to put their excess lead somewhere, after they got caught painting children's toys with it.
If not magnet and not lead, I hope its not depleted uranium fragments from some bombs sent back home to get even.
Hoopajoo (author)  Tool Using Animal7 years ago
Not lead. A magnet will stick to it.
Myself7 years ago
After hearing about the fake lights, I tested a few at the local cheap-chinese-junk emporium. Their $2 version was a true shake light, it started flat and brightened when the magnet passed through the coil, and would really build up some power after a minute's frantic shaking. But even after 2 minutes of shaking with the switch off, it only gave 20 seconds of light. I'm guessing there's just not enough energy storage in their cheap caps. Be suspicious of any "shake-light" that glows when you first turn it on. Unless another customer was just shaking it, the capacitor shouldn't have much in it. Verify that shaking does actually make it brighter! You should also get a bright "spike" of light as the magnet passes the coil, if you tip it end for end with the switch on. Failure to behave as described means it's probably a fake.
_soapy_ Myself6 years ago
Seconded, mostly. I find the good ones (I have two) hold charge for months, so a glow at power-on means little. However, shine it on something then shake it, and you will see the light get brighter as you do it. You can actually see a pulse effect if you shake fast and hold it fairly steady. The other test is to try and stick a paperclip or mortice key (generally steel) to it. (Note that most cylinder keys are brass coated with silvery coat, whereas all mortice keys are steel except for two manufacturers. The little steel rings that hold your keys in a bunch, however, are always steel.)
Where did you get one for $1?
Hoopajoo (author)  perkinsb10246 years ago
At a local oriental dollar store in a mall. I think it was locally owned and not a chain of some kind. I've seen some for $3 at other places like truck-stops and such. That's all these are honestly worth since they are fake shake lights. The magnet isn't real so all shaking does is waste your strength unless you use it as a cathartic experience when your boss makes you angry _. It's funny to note that they are worth much more as parts than as a shake light.
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