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The world's brightest Altoid's Smalls 3 LED flashlight. It has two wide field 3500 MCD white Piranha LEDs, one on either side of a single 14,000 MCD white LED. All powered by a 3 volt CR2032 lithium button battery. — at volthaus electronics laboratory, Austin TX.

Step 1: Parts

The Altoids Small flash light components required are:

  • CR2032 Lithium Battery 3V 225mAh

  • Coin Battery Holder CR2025 and CR2032

  • Tact Switch 6*6mm 11mm Through Hole SPST-NO

  • Two (2) 3500 MCD white Piranha LEDs, one on either side of a single 14,000 MCD white LED

  • Small proto board
  • A couple of inches of #22 gauge solid insulated wire (black and red)

Tools:

  1. Faux Dremel type rotary drill
  2. Hot melt glue and glue gun
  3. Soldering Iron

  4. Hot melt glue gun

Step 2: Construction

Cut the proto board to fit the inside of the tin, then solder the battery holder, LEDs, leads, and switch. You'll want to wire the LEDs in parallel so that with the added amperage the configuration provides the CR2032 Lithium Battery 3V 225mAh will work perfectly with no need for added resistors.

Wiring of the LEDs should be in parallel. That way the amperage demand will increase but the voltage will be within limits of the battery. It's a little tricky finding the positive pins on the Piranha LEDs. They have 4 pins - two positive and two negative. If you look really close you'll see one corner is flattened (chamfered). That is your negative side. Also you can look closely inside you will see the cathode and anode are slightly different.Your middle 5mm LED will have a long lead and a short lead. Your long lead is the positive one. LEDs have to be wired with the power going to your positive lead and the other of course leading to your ground, negative battery terminal, or you can use your chassis as a ground.

Drill the holes for the LEDs to protrude through the front of the case and solder the switch. Place the unit into the box. Add a dab of grease to the top of the on button then close the lid. The top of the switch will dot the inside of the lid showing you exactly where to drill the hole for the button to protrude.

Once aligned into the case add a little hot melt glue to the side to hold it securely in place. I also cut a thin stiff strip of clear plastic that would lay in the bottom under the board to prevent any electrical shorts. You could probably make feet with the hot glue in lieu of the plastic if you don't have it to use.

I saw a comment by TheGeekFather on an 'Ible' by JoshuaZimmerman where TGF (instead of a plastic strip or tape underneath the PCB or wiring) recommended painting the bottom of the tin with spray on Plasti-Dip. That would REALLY be nice. It can also be brushed on.

Step 3: Power On

The two 3500 MCD white Piranha LEDs, one on either side of a single 14,000 MCD white LED will throw out an amazing amount of light in a fan shaped field. You will be surprised at the area illuminated by this bulb configuration. No dark spots, no bright dot in the center. It is an extremely even light pattern. From 6 feet away it will totally light an 8ft X 8ft wall.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to browse my little project. I may soon post my 5 volt regulated power supply that lives in a full sized Altoids tin. It is shown in my "Fun With Relays Ible.

<p>I want to make this but wish your directions were better. You assume we know more than we do :( I am clueless.</p>
<p>Hello mahlerosa. Thank you for the comment and I was wondering what details you think I left out or what areas should I have explained better to make this more understandable? I'm sorry you had trouble.</p>
Great article, excited to see your 5v regulator post!!
<p>Very nicely done!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Electronics have always been fascinating to me. Things that get my attention are clocks, lamps, motion activated devices, light activated devices, laser intruder alert systems ... More »
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