Let's take a dingy $5 lantern and turn it into a multifunctional magnetic light!
This doesn't take experience to make, only patience!
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Step 1: Setup and Housing
- Camping lantern ($5 at amazon)
- Small jar/wide-mouth container
- Soldering Iron
- Magnets or magnetic sheet
- Utility blade or craft knife
- Mylar foil/Space Blanket
- Adhesive (weldbond and electrical tape)
- Rotary tool (w/ cut-off disc and sanding/grinding drums)
The container I am using to house all of this was actually from a bluetooth speaker, but a small mason jar or other such jar would work just as well.
Firstly, the cap was traced onto the magnet sheet, which was then cut and glued onto the container cap
A single roll of the electrical tape around the lip of the housing container ensure a tight and water resistant fitting
Step 2: Electronic Movement
Here we desolder and remove all of the important electronics from the plastic shell
Removing the AAAs, the battery pack goes first, then everything is unscrewed
The button board was de-soldered, wires removed, then pulled the wires through the other circuit board before being re-soldered. This was done to relocate the button to a better location
I took pics of the circuit boards so I wouldn't have to memorize the wire layout
The reflective part that housed the LEDs was trimmed down with a rotary tool, and the single LED was flipped around on the board, so it faced the same direction as the rest of the LEDs
I tested the circuit after I finished soldering, but before I put it together
Step 3: Battery Below
I traced a circle out with the battery pack on top of that and cut using a craft knife
It's a little rough around the edges, but fits like a glove
I soldered the battery pack to the main circuit board after fitting it into the cardboard
Step 4: Button Fitting
The top cap of the old lantern housed the button, and I'd like to have the button external, so I monkeyed with it
Trace the outline with a marker and cut using a rotary tool with wheel, then sanded out
Like the cap up with the hole and mark the slight bevel with a marker
Sand the cap till it fits on the curved housing snugly
When it's close enough, screw together the cap to the button board (this may be tricky, so use a short screwdriver)
Step 5: Reflector Shield
This will magnify the reflected light back outwards
A small piece of mylar material (space blanket) is draped over a donut and glued down
An additional donut is glued behind that to hold it all together and fit it tightly to the LEDs
Step 6: Finalize and Reflect
Fit everything together, load up the batteries, screw on the cap, and light it up!
You now have a magnetic hazard light/work lamp/red beacon!
If you were inspired or intrigued, pleasevote for the Lights contest!
Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017