Expedition Light




About: Steampunk-Design builds and developed the most modern technical equipment, fine jewelry and futuristic devices implemented with funds and materials of the Victorian era.

Hi all,
I like to show you my very small Expedition Light.
I use the same circuit like I show you in my Steampunk Plasma Bulb with Clock Gear.
If you want you can say it’s only a Mod but I think it’s a completely different project.
First of all you need some parts:
1x Flashlight circuit out of a disposable camera from Fujifilm.
2x AA-size battery holder.
1x small energy saving lamp.
1x small switch.
A box big enough to store all these components.
My box have the dimension of 7cm x 7cm x 4.5cm
The two AA cells are able to supply power for 30-36 Hours

Also don't miss to visit my website with more great projects under Steampunk-Design.

Step 1: Prepare the Engery Saving Lamp

When you find a nice energy saving light you must remove the complete electrics from the bulb.

If you broke the glass of the energy saving light the dust out of the lamp is highly toxic.

The bulb on the pictures is different to the used one but it depends on the same procedure of handling.

If you are not sure you can remove the electronic safely put all into a closed freezer bag and work with a screw driver which is stick through the plastic.

Open the plastic housing and disconnect the 4 small wires to the bulb from the circuit.
Now drill the 2 pairs of wire together like shown on the picture.
Solder a longer wire to every pair of drilled wires.
Later you connect these wires to our circuit.
The bulb is ready to use…

Step 2: Prepare the Disposable Camera

First of all you buy a disposable camera from Fujifilm or other one from the picture.
If you buy other models you will find inside an AAA cell instead of the right AA cell.
In this case the soldering points for the power output are on an other place.

After removing the paper you will find a plastic camera without any screws.

Remove or loose the plastic flaps on every side and open the camera.
Now you can pull out the flashligt module.
The capacitor often is charged.
If you touch the board with your fingers on the wrong place you get a hit.

Step 3: Remove Some Parts

Before you do anything bridge the capacitor with a screwdriver.
After this you must remove the Flashlight, Capacitor and the switch for the flash.
I do it with a solder pen.
So you can use these parts in other projects.
If you are finished the board looks on the part side like this.

Step 4: Prepare the Circuit

On the back side you must solder 6 wires on the right place the picture will help you.
For the power input I use the two AA battery holders.
To increase the current not the voltage I solder them parallel.

Then I use two wires to connect the switch. These two solder points on the circuit will switch the power supply on/off.

The wire of the high power output of the circuit is connected to one of the wires of the bulb.
The second wire of my bulb is connected to the power (-).

Step 5: The Box

Try to find the best position for every part in the wood box.
Then connect battery holders, flashlight circuit, switch and the bulb with some wires.

The switch I used is a normally-closed one.
So it will switch the light automatically on when you open the box!
This looks very tricky for every one around.

See the picture with the right connection points for everything on the circuit.
Check the function of light and switch and remove the battery.
After that glue everything in place and let it dry.

Insert again the battery and have fun with your light.

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    42 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 3

    You forgot "remove the battery" cheap camera circuits I have found recharge very easily


    6 years ago on Step 2

    I love steps that involve risk of 320v 0amp shock and loud electric pops


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I was looking at where Admiral Aaron Ravens had connected the CFL in step 4. I imagine nearly all flash units are almost exactly the same. It is a flyback oscillator that charges the capacitor. From the high-voltage of the flyback transformer, it goes through a diode and resistor to the flash capacitor. That's the key part.

    If you follow the traces from the large flash capacitor, one will go back to the battery (probably the negative terminal) and the other will trace through a resistor and a diode (either order) before getting back to the flyback transformer. You connect the CFL to that side of the flyback transformer.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    so one wire goes to flyback transformer and one to battery (negative terminal)??


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    That's what it looks like. I can't quite see from your pictures, but if the transformer has 3 wires, then yes. Basically you want your lamp connected in place of the capacitor, and you probably need to bypass the resistor and (although it doesn't really hurt anything to leave it) the diode.


    7 years ago on Step 2

    Actually, sometimes, if you ask nicely(and are lucky) camera places will give you the disposables that people bring in to be developed. I actually got a 1'X1'X3' box of them for free for my projects.

    One note, some places have a policy to recycle them themselves, and aren't aloud to give them out


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    i will be changeing the cfl to a mains led light soon when i find the right one as the led one will give off more light


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    no they are not mains led bulbs are x amount of led in series to handle the mains voltage maybe you should of looked into this bit of info befor commenting


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    well i was commenting, it aint writing a novel.
    you should wire a resistor or a high voltage low uF cap with you're LED, in case one blows up and short it will not burn them all down and cause problem (fire...).

    check out this circuit: freeinfosociety@com/electronics/schematics/light/pictures/acled.gif (replace @ by ".")


    7 years ago on Step 5

    that is very nice, ive being looking for this project for a long time. i actually saw those photo a while back, am glad i found the owner.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very Steampunk. Love it. How long will it run on 2AA? What about using a cigar size box and 2D cells?

    1 reply

    que bueno seria un plano electrico para poder conectar mas facil y si es posible hacer el circuito electronico completo por que esta muy interesante gracias