Super Awesome Altoids MINI Flashlight

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Introduction: Super Awesome Altoids MINI Flashlight



Don't you just hate it when the power goes out, and you have to lug that huge flashlight around your house. No worries my friends, you can make a flashlight that fits right in your pocket!

Lets get started!

Step 1: Materials

Here is what you will need:

Step 2: Insulate the Tin

This step is extremely important. If any parts of your project comes in contact with the metal tin, the electrical aspect of the project will short out.

Use some electrical tape to insulate your tin. Just tape some on the bottom, sides, and wherever you feel that the components may be vulnerable to the metal tin.

Step 3: Drill Your Top Hole

This hole is for your switch. On your tin, you can choose either side you want your switch to be on. I drilled my hole in the little circular groove that has a picture of the mint in it. I felt that it conformed to the finger well.

Or you can choose the other side.

Take your Dremel or hole cutting tool, and carefully make a hole. With this preliminary hole, take your switch and keep checking to see if it fits. You do not want to make it too big. So take your time, there is no rush.

If you do not own a Dremel, you can use a pocket knife, or a tool to poke a hole. THe spin it around to grind out the hole. But make sure you test to make sure you do not make the hole too big.

Step 4: The Wiring

This is a tricky step because you are working in such a small area, so use your components wisely.

Start out by attaching two small pieces of hookup wire to the leads on the switch. One piece of wire, for each lead on the switch. Don't make them too long because it will just cause more trouble when you try to fit make everything fit. (Refer to the second picture to estimate the length of the wire to use)

Next, get your masking tape, a piece of hookup wire, and your 3V coin battery. Take the piece of hookup wire, and tape it to the (-) side of the coin battery. Now, with one of the pieces of hookup wire attached to the switch, take that hookup wire and attach it to the (+) side of the coin battery.

So, right now you should have you switch in place, one of the leads of the switch attached to the positive side of the coin battery, while the other is currently not connected to anything, yet. Your coin battery should have one lead attached to the (+) side, and one to the (-) side. All set? Ok, now lets get the LED.

With your LED, you want the longer lead to attach to the (+) hookup wire coming from the coin battery. The shorter lead of the LED is the (-) lead, so you want this to be soldered or attached to the currently unattached hookup wire of the switch.

You certainly can use a resistor, but because it is not much voltage, it does not do too much harm. plus, it would make it harder to fit in the tin in the long run.

Ok, this may be a little confusing, so I will sum it up.
  • Your switch has two leads
  • Have two pieces of hookup wire from those leads
  • One of the wires goes to the negative side of the coin battery
  • The other, goes to the negative lead on the LED
  • The longer lead of the LED has a piece of hookup wire attached to it and the (+) side of the coin battery.

Test it out: Press the switch to see if it lights up. If not, make sure all of your solder connections are attached, make sure no leads are touching each other, and make sure your battery still works.

Step 5: Cut Hole for LED

Take your Dremel tool again and begin drilling a hole for your LED. Take your time, because if you cut it too big, the LED rattles around. I cut a hole too big on my first tin and I had to do it completely over.

Gradually increase the hole in size, and take breaks in between an stick the LED in the hole to see if it fits or not. Continue doing it until the LED fits firmly in the hole.

I wrapped a piece of electrical tape around my two LED leads, to keep them from coming in contact with the metal tin.

Step 6: Packing It In

As you pack everything in, continue hitting your switch to make sure that the LED still works. Keep in mind that you can take the cover off, and then snap it back on, instead of sliding it.

This makes it easier to pack everything in. You can start by sliding the LED in the hole, and then snapping the top cover on to the bottom section.

You may have a better way, but this is the way that I have used.

Step 7: Where Can I Use This?

Well, it fits right in your pocket, so...anywhere!

If your power goes out and you need to fiddle with your circuit breaker, grab this and light it up!

Going out on Halloween, but don't feel like lugging a huge flashlight around? Take this mini flashlight!

It is so easy to fit in any pocket, drawer, backpack, etc...

Below are just a few pictures of how it lights up what you are shining it at.

Pocket-Sized

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    82 Discussions

    If you make either of the holes too big, use plumbing tape. The ones used to cover your pipe threads prior to fitting. It's soft type of PVC, very pliable and hence easier to wrap around a mini switch or LED

    i just bought a bunch of stuff from the goldmine-elec.com site i saw it came up in a couple of instructables and the prices are great -- radio shack is too expensive and cool idea with everything...

    4 replies

    yup. electronic goldmine a s amazing prices in bulk (and sometimes individually). radioshack's items are waaay to expensive. i guess that's what you pay for convenience....

    i cant believe im actually saying this but radioshack does have some good stuff. like not components but tools. And if my soldering iron breaks or somethin like that... its easier to have bought it from radioshack than online in some cases (again convenience). i also found out that they have this wire that i want to use for making vias in pcbs, and no other place had it, so they are ok i guess... Im also getting started with pcbs right now (as u might have just figured out :) ), so allelectronics and digikey look like they will be coming into the picture... they look pretty good so far. but yeah if all you do is like the more simple electronics stuff (me in the past) then goldmine definitely rules.

    yup! goldmine rules for simple stuff!!!! radioshack's things are way too expensive (components at least). their prices or tools and tools themselves aren't bad though

    yeah that and that radioshack has virtually no variety or specialty stuff. Its all generic, basic, and expensive. some people look at that as a good thing, dont ask me how

    If you make the LED hole too big, glue it in place with some (very) think epoxy.

    1 reply

    You can use the positive and negative USB cord, but you match up the negative end of the cord with the negative side of the battery. And vice versa with the positive side.

    also do u have to solder.. or is there another way.. i can solder if there is no other .way .....thank u

    Well you can attach the wires to the battery with tape or hot glue. Solder doesn't work the best on batteries. And on the LED and switch, you can wrap the wires around the leads instead of using solder.

    or you can replace the blue light with a red light to "preserve your night vision"