This instructable is how to turn an ordinary flashlight into a versatile double flashlight. I took an old flashlight my father-in-law was going to throw away and transformed it so that it would still work as a flashlight, but also have a flash drive in it that I can use for covert data storage.
Step 1: Assess Your Flashlight
In this step you need to determine what you will need to do to modify your flashlight. I took mine apart and laid out all the pieces to figure out what I would need to do. I wanted to keep most of the flashlight intact so it would keep that vintage look.
Here are the parts of the flashlight
4. lens cap
5. end cap
1. case - some dents but the switch works well. Also has a setting that allows you to send morse code. I don't know morse code, but I think that is cool.
2. reflector - A few scratches, but works well
3. lens - a few scratches but intact
4. lens cap - looks like it has a serious dent, but screws on okay with a little effort
5. end cap - slight dents and has a loop which is cool.
6. bulb - great condition
I ended up keeping everything but the bulb. Your flashlight may be different so I encourage you to see what you want. I got rid of the bulb because I wanted to run it off less battery power to free up space in the case for the flash drive.
Step 2: Gather Tools/materials
Now that you know what you want to do gather the tools you will need to accomplish that task and then expect to grab more that did not come to mind. This always happens to me. I have to get up several times to get tools that I did not think I would need. Here is the list of what I used.
1. Duct tape - both a tool and a material
3. Wire cutter
5. Long thin flat head screwdriver
6. Hair Dryer
7. Hot Glue Gun
8. Alligator clips for testing
9. Mini flashlight for peering into the depths of the vintage flashlight case
1. Duct tape
2. Copper wire
3. Putty expoy
4. Flash drive with cap
5. Heat shrink tubing
6. Hot glue
7. Case for AA batteries
8. Aluminum Foil
9. Broken bulb
10. Heat shrink tubing
Step 3: Modifications
In this step I will modify the bulb and anything else that needs to be changed. I had a spare bulb from when I switched my mini maglite to a krypton bulb. It runs off two AA batteries so I thought that would give me the extra space I needed.
I had a bulb that had broken that I used for this step. I took out the old bulb and clipped the filament leaving two metal prongs. I took off 1/8th an inch from the krypton bulb so it would fit into the reflector. I used some heat shrink tubing to hold the bulb onto the prongs while I hot glued it. My fingers were much to large to hold it still while I hot glued it.
After it was secured I tested the frankenbulb to make sure it would work. Then I tested it in the reflector. Make sure you test at every step. You do not want to "finish' only to realize that a wire is not connected.
The next modification I made was to the batteries. I found a AA battery case lying around. The case was a perfect fit for the flashlight case. It slid in snug. I added some duct tape to it to made the fit a little tighter and then some tape was put at two corner, sticky side out to hold the batteries in place. The negative wire was taped to the case and the positive was taped to the connector on the reflector. (This flashlight is metal. Attaching the wire to the case will not work if the flashlight you are using is not metal.) I used aluminum foil for any areas where the connection was not tight. Once the connections were made I tested the flashlight and it worked great. I tested these connections before to make sure they worked.
Step 4: Doubling the Flash
In this step you will be adding the flash drive. This flashlight opens at the end so I am able to access it there. I removed the spring from the end cap to free up more space. Then I found a flash drive that would fit in that open space.
I used a putty epoxy for this part. The putty is blue on the outside and white on the inside. Cut off about 1/8th of an inch and mashed it together until the entire mass was a consistent gray color. The cap I used had a hook for use on a shirt pocket. I used this cap because I thought it would hold to the putty better. Attach the putty to the cap and put putty, cap, and the flash drive all in the flashlight. 5 minutes later it was secure.
Step 5: Further Additions
There is room in the end of the flashlight for more items. I thought about adding more things to the light, but decided to leave it open for anything. In the picture you can see all the items that fit in the space. You could make it a survival flashlight or even put a smaller emergency flashlight inside it.
The light works great and is also much lighter without those clunky D batteries inside it. No one would ever suspect that it contains a second flash.