Retrofit Antique Lantern
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#1 (permalink)      11/17/2020 4:28:05 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
TimeOutside
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Retrofit Antique Lantern
I recently found and purchased an antique Ray-O-Vac flashlight/lantern. For a fun and useful project, I'd like to convert it to a very bright modern lantern using 18650 Li_Ion battery technology. But to start the project I need to determine a bulb and driver to use. I am all but totally ignorant on this subject and need help determining what to get. I hope I can find some help here. So, thank you in advance.

Here are my high-level desires:
1) I would like the light to be as bright as reasonably achievable without breaking the bank. (The case allows for plenty of battery and the bulb housing is such that I don't anticipate heat issues.)
2) I would like the brightness to be variable, with at least three steps, but more would be better.
3) I would prefer to not have strobe and SOS blinking.
4) I would like a last used brightness memory function, if possible.
5) I would prefer to be able to use just one bulb, although I'm not totally opposed to using a multi-bulb assembly.
6) I am thinking to mount the light(s) and reflector(s) in the lantern's bulb housing and the driver(s) in the case - although if that is a bad idea then let me know.
7) If it is possible to toggle the different brightness settings by using the original switch on top of the handle, that would be best. As much as possible, I would like to be able to keep the original appearance of the lantern and not be drilling a bunch of holes to accommodate the project.

So, that is the project. I will appreciate all the direction provided. I do not mind doing my own homework, but I really do not know where to start.

Thanks,
Andrew

#2 (permalink)      11/17/2020 6:19:21 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
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desuede
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I would recommend you start by plowing through online tutorials both on the web and and on YouTube in order to get an idea of different solutions, the terminology, necessary components and the work involved.

What you already have is a housing and a reflector.

Possible starting points:

- YouTube
- Google Search
#3 (permalink)      11/17/2020 7:14:33 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
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furcifernova
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We need to see the reflector with the bulb out. I'm pretty sure you can JB weld in an XML on a pill with a 3A-3mode driver, although it will probably be a rather floody light.

If the reflector opening where the bulb goes in can be cut to a precise opening without doing too much damage to the silver, you could very easily retrofit this to use say a 20mm drop-in. Then you solve the reflector issue and it's a little more versatile.

Something like this:

SKU 1067701


The light part is probably the cheapest and easiest part of the retrofit. The real issue is batteries. Do you have 18650 batteries or are you looking to keep the old style battery? I'd go with 18650 but then you run into balancing issues trying to get the same authentic feel in your hand carrying it.

You definitely shouldn't have to make any marks on the outside.
At no point in Trump's rambling, incoherent 1 term presidency was there anything close to what could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in the country is now dumber for having experienced it.
#4 (permalink)      11/17/2020 7:24:08 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
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Where is airbagz when we need him ... he’s been missing lately, hope he’s ok.
If you want on or off the list just let me know.
#5 (permalink)      11/17/2020 9:04:18 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
TimeOutside
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Thank you.

I will be examining the DIY leads that desuade posted.

furcifernova, I have inserted a couple pictures of the bulb housing below that shows the approximate dimensions. It looks like I have an 11 to 15 mm hole to work with. I've also got 15 to 18 mm behind the reflector, if needed. I have about 32 mm within the reflector itself. So if I could mount the new emitter and its reflector inside the current reflector, that would be cool. The driver could then be placed behind the current reflector or inside the housing. But I do wonder if I'll need to run a second wire. The current bulb gets its second lead through the housing. Will that be a problem?

I'll definitely be using 18650 batteries. There is plenty of room inside the housing, so I don't believe positioning them to provide a decent balance is going to be a problem.

I see where you are going with the UlraFire suggestion. I like the idea. I see on that page there is a UltraFire 5-Mode 1000LM White Light Drop-in Module. I'm not keen on the strobe and SOS, but I'd rather have 1000 lumen and three normal modes versus 700 lumen. So I have to ask, (1) is there a drop-in brighter than 1000 lumen and (2) do these drop-in modules have the driver included or is that a separate unit that needs to be acquired?

Now on to do a little studying of the material desuade pointed me towards.

Thanks again,
Andrew

#6 (permalink)      11/17/2020 10:02:17 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
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furcifernova
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I'm not familiar with these lights so bare with me, but what's going on with that pink piece the bulb is fixed too? The part that has what looks like NPT threads.

It almost looks like a pill:

SKU 1208606

Yah, a drop-in is the pill, emitter and reflector and contact spring. It's just the assembled parts. Since you don't need the spring it's probably easier to build it from parts. I'm honestly not seeing a lot of DIY parts on FT though. I think the maximum for an XML is 3A and the functions have no effect on max output. Lumen, lux, watts/m^2, I find those numbers meaningless. You can basically only put 3A to a single die XML and you get what you get :D


The reflector in a reflector looks like an easy mod. You just have to cut it further down where the fat copper part meets the skinny 18mm copper part. You have to be accurate with the cut though, there isn't much of a lip where the reflector screws onto the pill. Worst case scenario you might have to put a little epoxy on the back side (you're basically screwing the reflector from one side, the pill from the back and pinching the existing reflector, you can see fro the pill pic it isn't much)

A battery holder like one of these would probably work:

SKU 4328000
SKU 9656661

but you could get away with one of these if you wanted:

SKU 1279500

Hope these ideas help.
At no point in Trump's rambling, incoherent 1 term presidency was there anything close to what could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in the country is now dumber for having experienced it.
#7 (permalink)      11/18/2020 7:29:20 AM US Central   quote/reply + tips
TimeOutside
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furcifernova, I agree the bulb assembly looks much like a pill. The threads do seem like NPT. Since the fitting is copper, it kind of makes sense that it would be NPT.

For me, all the lumen, lux, watts, etc. just seem to raise more questions than answers. All I can go by to try and specify what I am looking to achieve is relative information based on lights I have on hand. I have several headlamps. One is the Nitecore NU25 (a fantastic unit). It produces 360 lumen using a CREE XP-G2 S3. I would like much more out of this lantern. A few years back my wife got me an Atomic Flashlight (as seen on TV), which supposedly outputs 1200 lumen. This is more in line with what I'm looking to achieve. From what I have been able to find, a XM-L2 has a spec of 1198 (10 watts, 3 amps). Apparently the XM-L2 is more efficient than the original XML emitter.

So if the XM-L2 is the answer, where do I find it in either a pill or the parts that allow me to build the pill myself? Is that the direction my quest heads now? If so, any thoughts? Also, what is suggested for PCB sizing. I see they often come in 12, 14, 16, and 20 mm. 14 might be good for me, but then would I have an issue with heat? Do I need the cooling area a 20 would provide?

Thanks again,
Andrew

#8 (permalink)      11/18/2020 7:53:57 AM US Central   quote/reply + tips
TimeOutside
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Update: I've since found references to the XP-L/HI (~1200 lumen), the XP-L/HI (at 1883), the XHP50/50.2 (at 2546), and the XHP70/70.2 (at a whopping 4,292 lumen). I need to check out these options, although I believe my outstanding questions remain - in short, what items to purchase.

Update: I forgot to say thanks for the battery holder leads. I may use them on other projects. For this project, I plan on building a custom pack for whatever my capacity needs end up becoming. I didn't want to spend $45 for a replacement Black and Decker pack for my leaf blower. Instead, I spent $20 on (better than original) batteries and then $15 on the parts for a DIY battery terminal spot welder. Then I built my own pack to replace the batteries in the Black and Decker pack. I have the supplies to build whatever size pack I end up needing.

Edited on 11/18/2020 at 8:36 AM. Reason: Forgot to discuss battery pack options
#9 (permalink)      11/18/2020 11:32:37 AM US Central   quote/reply + tips
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Here ya go.
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#10 (permalink)      11/18/2020 11:39:30 AM US Central   quote/reply + tips
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furcifernova
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I'm getting a little out of my experience area now. I'm not familiar with the XP series dies so I don't know what kind of heat they generate. The XM series are pretty efficient so off hand I'd say the XP probably get very, very hot and would need finned or maybe a fanned cooling solution like you see in headlights:


Like these

SKU 9716188

I don't have a set handy but you might they might be able to fit through the existing bulb hole (they're right around 11mm in diameter). Since they are made for car size reflectors my guess would be you'd get an extremely bright flood light because they're pretty lengthy and extend well beyond the focal point of your existing reflector. A fog light is probably closer to your needs in terms of length:

SKU 6929402


But if you go that way you lose the ballast and heat sink you'd get in a headlight and be tied to a 3S battery.


Unless you're going for like 1000000000 candles or something, I'd go with a 16mm pill and XM-L2 emitter with a 3A driver. You might be able to shove that into the existing hole without having to do much modification (it's the more elegant solution and it leaves you open to other options if it doesn't perform to your satisfaction). You should have the mass and air circulation for passive cooling a 16mm setup as well. Then all you have to do is run a single (+) wire from the driver board to the battery.

Hope this helps. Like I say, this is about the limit of my experience doing LED mods. The only other suggestion I can offer is to keep in mind LED's are flat and don't emit over as many degrees as a filament light. This means getting a good beam difficult, but making a flood light with an LED super easy.

eta: and Wylie's link there to CPF is an excellent resource. you might find a thread on similar mods there

Edited on 11/18/2020 at 11:41 AM. Reason:
At no point in Trump's rambling, incoherent 1 term presidency was there anything close to what could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in the country is now dumber for having experienced it.
#11 (permalink)      11/18/2020 4:53:46 PM US Central   quote/reply + tips
TimeOutside
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Thank you everyone. I have been doing some learning between posts. Everyone's instruction has been most helpful. I'm going to be very busy the next two days, plus I want to consolidate my notes and start running some concrete ideas by you. But that may not be until Saturday. I'm likely to be offline until then, so please don't think I've abandoned all this.

Thanks again,
Andrew