Intro: Uber Bright Flash Light / Charger
In this instructable I'll go through how I put together my own flash light. A flash light you say - sounds amazing (add sarcasm). Yeah well I know a torch doesn't sound that revolutionary, but indulge me a minute and I'll tell you how it came about.
It all started (yes I'm sorry its one of those stores) when I revisited my old high school. It had recently closed down and I wanted to show my kids the school I went to before they tore it down. It seems the local hooligans had decided to make a start themselves by going on a smashing spree!
The one consolation of the school being ransacked was my kids got to go inside the school and have a look around. I showed them the photography dark room where I spent most of my senior years, as well as old classrooms I used to waste my time in, learning things I've never used since learning them...
Keaton, my youngest thought it would be cool if we made a mini documentary. So we did! You can check it out below if your interested.
Whilst rummaging, I came across a couple of stage spot lights amongst all of the discarded flotsam. I actually remember using these when I was at school! I decided to grab them and see if I could possible make something out of it.
And that's the story of how this torch came about. The stage globes are 6v and are very, very bright. I also added a USB charger so I could charge my phone as well.
If you want to make one your going to have to get your hands on a vintage stage light. Not an easy task but you can find them on eBay. You could also just get a 6v globe like the one used in the spot light I used and mod some PVC to make it fit. I might actually try and do something like this myself.
I've also included a short video of the torch in action
Step 1: Parts and Tools
Things to Gather:
2. 6 v Globe - If you can't find a stage spot light or something similar, the you could always just use the globe and hack it into the PVC eBay
3. 3 x plastic draw handles - eBay
4. 12v USB charger - ebay
5. 90mm PVC pipe, about 150mm long
6. 2 x 90mm coupler with male ends
7. 2 x 90mm female lids
8. 2 x toggle switches - eBay
9. 6v 4.5a battery and charger - eBay
10. male and female DC power socket - eBay
Note - The battery and charger that I used was pulled from one of those kids cars which run on a small dc motor. I got mine from the tip for $5, it's definitely the way to go.
11. A bunch of wire
12. various small bolts, screws and nuts
1. Drop saw
2. PVC glue
3. Drill and drill bits
4. Soldering iron
Step 2: Preparing the Spot Light
You can see from some of the images that the spot light was a little scuffed. Initially I wanted to do something with the base as well but I decided just to use the actual light section.
1. Remove the light from the body. Mine was held together with a few screws.
2. Give the light a good clean.
3. Test and make sure that the globe still works
Step 3: Modifying the Light
1. To get at the actual globe I had to take off a cowling around the outside. It took awhile but eventually I managed to loosen and pull it off.
2. Un-screw the wires from the globe and put aside.
3. Remove the wires from the middle of the light casing. This is where you can secure the light to the body of the torch. I needed to drill an extra hole to allow for the wiring as you can see in the photos below.
4. To ensure that the wires can't be pulled out, I tied a knot into them. Re-attach the globe to the wires. Don't put everything back together again like I did. You still have to attach the casing to the body of the torch.
Step 4: Making the Body of the Torch
1. Glue the couplings to the piece of 90mm PVC pipe. The length of the 90mm PVC pipe will determine how big your torch will be. Experiment with some different lengths and decide what works best for you.
2. Next drill a hole for the USB charger. This should be a tight fit.
3. Last, drill a couple of holes for the toggle switches.
Step 5: Add the Handles and Paint
I went with 3 handles as I thought that if I wanted to lie the torch down, it would be supported by 2 of them. This didn't really work as they were too far spaced apart. It still looks cool though and I decided to leave them on.
1. Grab a piece of masking tape and mark out the holes on one of the handles as shown below.
2. Attach the tape to the side of the PVC and mark out where to drill. Do this 3 times.
3. drill your holes and attach the handles. It was a little tricky trying to screw the handles on. There's not much room inside to get a screwdriver to bite the head of the screw. With a little patience, and a ratchet with a phillips head attachment, I managed to get them all attached.
4. Lastly, hang in a dry place and give it a lick of paint. I want with black gloss.
Step 6: Add the USB Charger
1. You will need to attach a couple of wires to the positive (tip of charger) and negative (side of charger) sections. I just soldered a couple on.
2. Push the charger into place and also add a switch.
3. solder the positive wire to the switch.
Step 7: Wiring
Now to the wiring. This wasn't very difficult, but you will need to think about the sequence that you wire in. I have included a schematic to help you with how the wiring should be done.
1. First drill some holes for the charging plug and attach to the body of the torch.
2. Add the switch for the light. It's probably best to solder on some wires before you attach this to the torch.
3. Attach the light to one of the lids. All you need to do here is to find the centre of the lip and drill a hole through it. Attach the light to the lid and then using the hole you made previously for the wire as a guide, drill another hole through the lid. Attach the wires to the globe and thread them through the extra hole. Lastly, put the light back together.
3. Wire everything up as per the schematic.
4. Screw the light to the body of the torch and test.
Step 8: Finishing Steps.
To make sure that you always have a cable handy for your phone or whatever you want to charge, include one indie the torch!
Screw on the bottom lid and test that everything works.