Introduction: Charging an LED Flashlight in a New Auto Power Socket
This is a compact LED flashlight for use in an automobile. These fit very well into older power sockets or cigarette lighter sockets for charging. But, they do not fit snugly in new power sockets appearing in recent automobiles and do not charge.
This Instructable will suggest a simple remedy for that problem.
Step 1: The Flashlight Base
The photo shows the base end of the flashlight. Notice that it is smooth with nothing to grasp the walls of the power socket.
Step 2: Older Style Plugs
This is an older style plug for a power socket. Notice the traditional spring clip on the side of the plug. These plugs still work well in the new power sockets.
Step 3: The Automobile Power Socket
If you look closely, you can see there are no spring protrusions inside the new power sockets. The walls are smooth.
Step 4: One Option
It is possible to remove the flashlight from the car now and then, and connect it to a 12 volt charger. The charger in the photo is from another Instructable I published.
Step 5: A Solution That Does Not Work
One vendor of these flashlights offers a small clip that may enable the flashlight to charge in some sockets. It did not work on my car. The flashlight still fit too loosely.
Step 6: A Simple Solution
I found an ordinary paper match from a book of matches solves the problem. Hold the stem of the match alongside the flashlight and insert both into the power socket. If you do not have a book of matches, fold a small piece of paper over several times and use it instead.
Update (Feb. 8, 2012)--I have some plastic file folders I use for various things. Today I took a piece about 1/2 inch wide and folded it lengthwise so it is two plies thick. I inserted that into the power socket with the flashlight and it worked quite well. Sometimes a paper match is a little too thick. You could also peel away a little of the paper match's thickness to make it fit in the socket with the light better.
Step 7: How Did It Work?
Here you can see the flashlight in my power socket. To charge the light turn the knurled ring at the lens counter-clockwise. The flashlight glows red when charging. Notice the matchhead at the 5 o'clock position. I tested this solution and the light continued to charge even while driving on a bumpy street. Sometimes I would get into the car after it had sat idle overnight, and the light did not charge. I just nudged it a little and it charged again while I was driving.
If you have one of these lights and a newer power socket, you will appreciate the simplicity of this solution.